Report by Syed Sibtain Shah
This year of Noble Prize became critically debated even in Norway where government has declared that it will not support abolishing of nuclear treaty at United Nation.
Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee has announced that it has decided to give Nobel Peace Prize 2017 to ICAN for its struggle against nuclear weapons. ICAN has so far proposed a treaty at UN for ban on productions and use of nuclear weapons. At least 50 member countries of UN agreed to sign the agreement.
The International Campaign for a Ban on Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a non-profit organisation based in Geneva which is called an alliance of many NGOs of more than 100 countries working for abolishing nuclear weapons.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg who agrees that abolition of nuclear weapons would make the world safer but emphasizes that Norway is not going to sign the UN resolution for abolishing nuclear weapons.
The International Campaign for a Ban on Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won its most important victory in October 2016. The UN then adopted a ban not only covering the use of nuclear weapons but also development, production, purchase and storage.
“As long as there are countries with nuclear weapons, NATO will have nuclear weapons,” says Solberg. She says the work must be done within the non-proliferation agreement, where the five major countries with the highest nuclear capacity are participants.
“It is through the kind of work involving nuclear countries that we can actually get real disarmament and real punches in the proliferation of nuclear weaponry, so that we will eventually be able to remove it,” said Solberg. The PM Solberg says, she does not know about criticism on the award by the Norwegian government.
“As, I understand this is a support, as I favour the idea of a world without nuclear weapons,” said Solberg, stressing that she feels that ICAN has done a good job of collecting civil society.
Meanwhile Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has explained why Norway did not accept the ban? A process of banning nuclear weapons, which is not supported by any of the countries that actually have such weapons, unfortunately does not make any progress.
“If you start with a ban, you will not get support of the nuclear weapon states. Then, it will not bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons. It is also possible to make the work of disarmament more difficult in other forums, Brende added.
After the wining nobel prize by ICAN struggling for abolishing of Nuclear weapons, it became a great challenge for Norwegian PM, Ms Erna Solberg’s government foreign policy.
The peace prize winner NGO has already tried to motivate Børge Brende for the years but Norway did not support the treaty at UN. Now it is turn of Norwegian Prime Minister, how she deal with this challenge?
According to some of the experts, it is not enough excuse by the Norwegian Government which on one hand says, it is a good idea but it cannot support it at UN.
Norwegian Government argues, as long as others have nuclear weapons, NATO countries cannot get rid of their weapons. The problem is that this notion has not led to any progress in nuclear disarmament.
With a small budget, ICAN has support of NGOs of 122 countries to join a ban under the auspices of the United Nations. Norway is one of several NATO countries that do not want to endorse the UN Treaty on Nuclear Weapons, which has been supported by more than 50 countries since July.
“The Nobel Committee shows that it is thundering disagree with Norway and other countries that have not been signed,” says Henrik Urdal, PRIO Director, to NTB.
“This prize is obviously means that it will put pressure on those states that have chosen to stand outside the proposed treaty at UN,” he said.
“This prize is a criticism on the nuclear countries, NATO and also Norway,” said the Nobel Institute’s former director, Geir Lundestad.
Senior Researcher Sverre Lodgaard at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs (NUPI) believes nuclear arsenal holds the attacks because they believe it has military and political utility.
“The value added bounces in the idea that the weapons can be used. This is where ICAN sets the shock. They try to stigmatize the weapon, and undermine the notions of nuclear deterrence. The belief in the deterrence may be the greatest obstacle to disarmament, “said Lodgaard.
NUPI Director Ulf Sverdrup calls the year’s peace prize classically. Many people will enjoy this award. At the same time, the nuclear powers and more with them say nuclear weapons are necessary to safeguard peace and security in the world, he says to NTB.
Anyhow, Nobel Prize for abolishing nuclear weapons put the Norway’s government in a very difficult situation where it support idea of get a rid of nuclear weapons but does not support a treaty on it at UN.