How a Melbourne anti-nuclear campaign won the Nobel Peace Prize

Helfand said he's not expecting the prize to make much of an impact on President Trump, who undermined his own secretary of state's efforts at diplomacy with North Korea.

Beatrice Fihn said ICAN founders were also inspired to establish the group following the success of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the Nobel Prize in 1997.

Since the launch of ICAN in 2007, SGI has been proud to work as one of the movement's worldwide partners toward the realization of a world free from nuclear weapons.

"I don't think we have unrealistic expectations that tomorrow nuclear weapons will be gone", Fihn said. It is a response to the ever-deepening concern of the global community that any use of nuclear weapons would inflict catastrophic, widespread and long-lasting harm on people and our living planet.

"We call them nuclear weapons, but in fact they're not really weapons, they're mechanisms for annihilating most higher forms of life on earth".

In July, 122 nations adopted a U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but nuclear-armed states including the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France stayed out of the talks. "The nuclear weapons are stationed in Germany and key to maintaining nuclear balance", said Marcel Dirsus, a political scientist at the University of Kiel in Germany.

The US leader has threatened to bin the Iran nuclear agreement altogether, saying Tehran is developing missiles that may be used to deliver a nuclear warhead when the deal's restrictions are lifted in 2025. He hopes the Nobel Peace Prize could lend legitimacy to the ban and force nuclear-armed nations to enter a dialogue with ICAN.

"We applaud those nations that have already signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and we urge all others to follow their lead", the statement said. But in Moscow, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation, told reporters that "there is no alternative" to nuclear parity to maintain world stability.

On Friday in Oslo the organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its work to achieve a treaty-based ban on nuclear weapons.

But as the science and implications of nuclear weapons started to be better understood - nearly immediately from the time they were first used - efforts to regulate the use of them increased, and so did the Nobel Prizes on the other side.

The prize announcement in the Norwegian capital, culminated a week in which Nobel laureates have been named in medicine, physics, chemistry and literature. He was a leader of the Manhattan Project, the American lab that produced nuclear weapons, and TIME called him "the world's foremost nuclear physicist" in 1945, while his New York Times obituary described him as "an architect of the atomic age". She believes it is highly important that awareness is raised that the treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons has declared that kind of behaviour illegal. Under the accord, Iran pledged never to "seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons" and said it was pursuing an "exclusively peaceful" nuclear energy program.

But just how illegal are nuclear weapons, and can anything prevent the world's superpowers from developing them? "Japan should play the role of connecting them", he said.

  • Rogelio Becker