10 things that made 2018 great for the movement to end nuclear weapons

December 28, 2018

How do you top winning the Nobel Peace Prize? As we began to look back at 2018, we thought it would be hard to live up to the excitement that that particular award brought us in 2017. But we shouldn’t have worried: nobody took the Nobel Peace Prize as an excuse to sit on their laurels. Instead, we all got straight back to work and used that energy to book some pretty exciting wins this year.

Here are 10 highlights:

1) The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is being signed and ratified at a record setting pace. 19 countries out of the 50 needed for the Treaty to enter into force have already joined it, and 69 countries have signed it.We know many more are on their way.

Graph showing rate of adhesion of WMD ban treaties

Help us get to 50 in 2019  

2) We launched a 5 step plan for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, at the Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, based on the TPNW. Because the Treaty doesn’t tweet, it can’t change its mind on the way home and it can’t have its ego bruised. The TPNW is the only comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible way to to achieve meaningful nuclear disarmament.

Check out the Roadmap  

3) Don’t Bank on the Bomb campaign got some serious commitments to divest from nuclear weapons from major banks and financial institutions in Germany, Norway, the Netherlands and even the US. Also, some brave German activists put this huge banner on BNP Paribas’ Berlin headquarters to bring attention to that banks’ dodgy investments as part of an incredible Global Day of Action

German activists call on BNP Paribas to divest at BNP Paribas Berlin HQ
4) In April, we brought together more than 120 of our incredible campaigners from around the world to plot our strategy for the next two years. “We have the treaty. So now what?” That was the question we set out to answer for ourselves, as well as defining new ways to work together. The meeting also turned into a campaign and lobby opportunity, as representatives from around the world gathered at the NPT PrepComm in Geneva.

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5) Our team grew! We have 3 new faces on board the staff team: Stuart, our Policy & research coordinator, Lucero, who works on our digital campaigns and Hawa, who took over from Laura as our admin assistant. And we also approved nearly 60 new partner organisations: ICAN currently has 532 partners in 103 countries (and counting!)

6) Together with our partner Norwegian People’s Aid, we launched the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitorto track progress towards the implementation of the Treaty.

Go to banmonitor.org  

7) Our work was featured in a harrowing VR-experience launched at Tribeca Film Festival: The Day the World Changed, and we saw many more creatives get involved in telling the stories of those that were affected by Nuclear Weapons use and testing

Learn more about The Day the World Changed  

8) ICAN received several awards this year, including the Distinguished Peace Leadership Award by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Watch Beatrice Fihn’s acceptance speech here:

9) We saw cities take the lead in supporting the Nuclear Ban Treaty, where governments appear to dawdle. Los Angeles, Melbourne, Manchester and Toronto are among the first cities to have taken the ICAN Cities Appeal

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Join #ICANSave on social media  

10) And last but not least, two wins in ICAN’s home-turfs (Switzerland and Australia): on December 12th, Switzerland’s Parliament called on the government to sign and ratify the Nuclear Ban Treaty and on December 18th, Australia’s opposition party Australian Labor committed to signing and ratifying the treaty when in power. Both are exciting moves and a long time coming. We can’t wait to see them carried out.

This isn’t even the full list of wins of 2018. It has really been a great year for the movement to end nuclear weapons, and we know we can count on dedicated campaigners and a great movement of supporters getting ready to make 2019 even better. We’re looking forward to it!



  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate