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Tánaiste congratulates ICAN at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo


Tánaiste congratulates ICAN at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, TD, warmly congratulated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize at a Ceremony in Oslo on 10 December. The Prize was received by Hibakusha Ms Setsuko Thurlow and Ms Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director on behalf of ICAN. The Tánaiste said,

“I am delighted to congratulate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons for their well-deserved achievement in winning the Nobel Peace Prize. 

“The work of ICAN and other Civil Society organisations was fundamental to achieving a treaty-based prohibition of nuclear weapons earlier this year. The Campaign has worked tirelessly in recent years to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.

It is fitting that, along with ICAN’s Executive Director, Ms Beatrice Fihn, Hibakusha Ms Setsuko Thurlow accepted the award at the Ceremony in Oslo on behalf of ICAN, and on behalf of the victims and survivors of nuclear weapons use and testing.  Ms Thurlow is well remembered by the many Irish people whom she met and inspired during her visit here in 2014 to promote Disarmament Education.

“Ireland is proud to have played a leadership role, together with Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa, in negotiating this ground-breaking Treaty, which represents the successful outcome of the first multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations in over 20 years and now has 56 signatories. Nuclear disarmament has been a priority for Ireland from the outset of our membership of the United Nations and I was pleased to sign the Treaty last September.”


Press Office

11 December 2017


Note for Editor

  • Launched in 2007, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is described as a global civil society coalition. It now comprises 468 partner organisations in 101 countries. Many prominent people have lent their support to ICAN, including Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, musician Herbie Hancock, artist Yoko Ono, and actors Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas. The UN secretary-general praised ICAN in 2012 “for working with such commitment and creativity in pursuit of our shared goal”. (Source


  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) opened for signature at the United Nations in New York on 20 September 2017. To date, 56 states have signed the TPNW, most recently Jamaica, Namibia and St. Vincent who signed on Friday, 8 December and 3 states have ratified the TPNW (Guyana, Holy See, Thailand). Ireland will begin ratification procedures shortly. 


  • The Treaty text was adopted by 122 States at the United Nations on 7 July 2017, representing the successful outcome of many years of work by committed States and Civil Society partners who have been concerned at the slow pace of multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts, including the lack of progress on commitments undertaken in the context of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). As well as prohibiting nuclear weapons, leading to their ultimate elimination, the TPNW also contains a number of ground-breaking provisions on survivor assistance and disarmament education. In line with long-standing foreign policy, Ireland took a lead role the process that led to the adoption of the TPNW.


  • Atomic Bomb survivors are referred to in Japanese as hibakusha, which translates literally as “bomb-affected-people”. The hibakusha have been instrumental in conveying to the world the reality of the impact of atomic bombings and are to the forefront in advocating for a world free of nuclear weapons. In March 2014, hibakusha Setsuko Thurlow visited Ireland as key note speaker for a disarmament education symposium organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs, University College Cork and the Japanese Embassy in Dublin. While in Ireland, Ms. Thurlow also visited three schools in the Dublin area. The Irish Times published an article on her visit, available at: