Atomic bomb survivor to jointly accept Nobel Peace Prize on ICAN’s behalf
October 26, 2017
An 85-year-old survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima will jointly accept this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
Setsuko Thurlow, who was 13 years old when the United States attacked her city, will receive the award together with ICAN’s executive director, Beatrice Fihn, at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on 10 December.
Thurlow has been a leading figure in ICAN since its launch in 2007. She played a pivotal role in the United Nations negotiations that led to the adoption of the landmark treaty outlawing nuclear weapons in July.
For more than seven decades, she has campaigned against the bomb. Her powerful speeches at diplomatic conferences and in classrooms have inspired countless individuals around the world to take action for disarmament.
Two other survivors of the atomic bombings – Terumi Tanaka from Nagasaki and Toshiki Fujimori from Hiroshima, who are both members of Nihon Hidankyo – will also attend the prize ceremony, as will survivors of nuclear testing.
Fihn, who is based in Geneva, has worked in the area of disarmament for the past decade, including with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She has a law degree from the University of London.
“In our advocacy, we have always emphasized the inhumanity of nuclear weapons. Devices that are incapable of distinguishing between a combatant and a child are simply unacceptable,” said Fihn.
“Survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are living witnesses to the horror of nuclear war. They have played a central role in ICAN. World leaders must heed their call for a nuclear-weapon-free future.”
Thurlow and Fihn will jointly deliver the Nobel lecture and receive the medallion and diploma from the Norwegian Nobel committee. They will do so as representatives of ICAN, this year’s Nobel peace laureate.
ICAN was awarded the prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.
ICAN is a diverse coalition of 468 non-governmental organizations in 101 countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty.
ICAN campaigners around the world will take part in celebrations on 10 December and renew their appeal for governments to sign and ratify this crucial new international accord without delay.
Thurlow said that she was overjoyed by the news that ICAN had won the Nobel Peace Prize, describing it as a wonderful and well-deserved honour. “I am so deeply humbled to have been invited to jointly accept the prize on behalf of the campaign,” she said.
“It has been such a privilege to work with so many passionate and inspirational ICAN campaigners around the world over the past decade. The Nobel Peace Prize is a powerful tool that we can now use to advance our cause.”
More information about Setsuko Thurlow.
More information about Beatrice Fihn.
Thurlow speaks on 7 July 2017 in New York following a historic vote – 122 nations to one – to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Fihn speaks at the signing ceremony for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 20 September 2017.