It is that time of the year again. No, I’m not talking about Halloween or pumpkin spiced lattes. It is the time where we find out which people and organizations will win the most prestigious prize that can be awarded, The Nobel Prize. Let’s focus on the Nobel Peace Prize. Educational content coming up!
What is the Nobel Peace Prize?
The Nobel Prize came from the will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. Nobel wrote his will that he would give the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine, literature and peace. According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.
Nobel, who died in 1896, never said why he chose peace as a category, but it is believed he was trying to compensate for his arms manufacture past. You know since he is the one who invented dynamite.
The Nobel Prize winners or more commonly named as the Nobel laureates receive a diploma, a medal, and small amount of 1.5 million dollars. No biggie.
How is the Nobel Peace Prize chosen?
The Norwegian committee that chooses the winner sorted through more than 300 nominations for this year’s award. The committee gives the award by recognising the accomplishment and intentions of people or organisations.
What is interesting about this award is that the nominations are never released to the public. Ministers, former laureates (Nobel Prize winners) and university lecturers are among the special people who can suggest candidates for the prestigious prize.
This year, there were 215 individuals and 103 organisations nominated and only one came out as the winner of this years Nobel Peace Prize. The winner, announced today, is ICAN! Never heard of ICAN before?
What is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)?
ICAN is an international organisation whose main focus is to have a world without any nuclear weapons. Launched in 2007, they already have 468 partner companies in more than 100 countries. ICAN began in Australia and was officially launched in Vienna.
Instead of campaigning on how much destruction nuclear weapons can cause, ICAN decided to instead focus on the catastrophic environmental and health consequences that come with the use of these nuclear weapons. In other words, ICAN shifted the campaign from the initial destruction that nuclear weapons can have on a country to the devastating consequences that come after the use of nuclear weapons.
ICAN’s founders were influenced to start their organisation after the success of a similar organisation, the International Campaign to Band Landmines. This organisation helped negotiate the mine ban treat in 1997.
ICAN’s is supported by many influencers in different fields. Michael Douglas, that old actor that is married to the young beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones (search it), Desmond Tutu, the famous social rights activist in Africa, the Dalai Lama, the religious leader who is enemy number one of the Chinese government, and Yoko Ono, you know, John Lennon’s wife before he got killed.
In July of this year, 122 nations adopted a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN’s goal is not that far away but they now have to handle the hardest part which is convincing the big nuclear-armed countries that nuclear weapons are a thing of the past. These countries are the United States and Russia (of course), Britain, France and North Korea (a.k.a rocket man country)
Why did ICAN win the Nobel Peace Prize?
The Nobel Prize committee made a formal announcement naming the winner of the Peace Prize and also the reason why. They mentioned that the decision to give ICAN the prestigious prize came at a time when “the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time”. In other words, the United States and North Korea’s back and forth discussions and show of power has been very worrisome for the international community.
Furthermore, they mentioned how some states were modernising their nuclear arsenals and that there is a real threat that more countries will try to get more nuclear weapons because of the rising tensions between rocket man and MURICA. In other words, countries are trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
This is where ICAN comes into the picture. With their campaigns, they’ve gained support from many nations to pledge to cooperate with different partners to help stigmatise and in the end prohibit and destroy any nuclear weapons that are still around to this day.
Another reason why ICAN was chosen as the winner was that in this way, the Nobel Prize committee can send a message to the world and the nuclear-armed countries to push for negotiations to slowly get rid of the almost 15,000 nuclear weapons that still exist in this world (yes there are that many nuclear weapons). Why slowly and not all at once? Because not only is it a huge bomb that can cause mass destruction but it also releases tons of radioactive stuff that can quickly kill us and make our lives on this earth much more miserable. Thus, we will destroy them slowly.
From all this that the Nobel Prize committee has said we can see why ICAN has won the Peace Prize. It is because they are the one organisation who has stood out amongst others in their determined goal of keeping our earth nuclear weapon free.
Congratulations to ICAN for being this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners. You deserve it and you better put those 1.5 million dollars to good use.
If you want to see the whole list of all the Nobel Prize winners click here: