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ICAN at the OEWG

The United Nations General Assembly voted in December 2015 to establish a special working group with a mandate to develop “legal measures, legal provisions and norms” for achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world. The Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) – backed by 138 nations – focused its efforts on elaborating the elements for a global treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

The OEWG met in Geneva on 18-23 February, 2-13 May and concluded in August where it adopted a report with recommendations to the UN General Assembly to start negotiations in 2017 on a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

ICAN participated in all sessions of the UN working group, and coordinated advocacy and lobbying to push for government participation and support for the ban treaty.

Resources for August session

Advocacy resources

Media and communications tools

Take action

Resources from May session

Resources from February Session


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  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s 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