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Minister welcomes Nobel Peace Prize to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, TD, has warmly congratulated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize earlier today.

Minister Coveney 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 campaign has worked tirelessly in recent years to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. The work of ICAN and other Civil Society organisations was fundamental to achieving a treaty-based prohibition of nuclear weapons earlier this year. Ireland believes that work in disarmament and non-proliferation processes are more effective when there is strong cooperation between states and Civil Society. Ireland is delighted that ICAN, one of its long-term partners in the area of nuclear disarmament, has had its work recognised by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.”

Minister Coveney went on to say:

“I am very proud that I, on behalf of Ireland, was able to sign the ground-breaking Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons in New York in September. Nuclear disarmament has been a priority for Ireland from the outset of our membership of the United Nations. We are 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 Ireland will continue to support the work of civil society organisations including the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to achieve this goal.”



Notes for Editors

  • Launched in 2007, the International Campaign Against 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 and so far 53 states have signed. 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).
  • In line with long-standing foreign policy, Ireland took a lead role the process that led to the adoption of the TPNW. Ireland was a member of a Core Group of states, with Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa, who brought forward the Resolution giving the UN conference its mandate. This resolution, Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations, Leading Towards their Total Elimination, was adopted at the UN General Assembly in October 2016 by 123 states.