“The deaths of millions may be one tiny tantrum away” says Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Ican: a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations that has worked for a treaty to ban the weapons.
Ican were praised for highlighting the dangers of nuclear weapons as well as trying to eradicate them. A key and brave Ican campaigner is Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing. She was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building at the time, and said that most of her classmates, who were in the same room, were burned alive.
“Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by. Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen.” Setsuko Thurlow
Key Facts on Ican
- Ican, formed in 2007
- Its mission is to highlight the humanitarian risk of nuclear weapons.
- A coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- Based in Geneva
- Helped get the introduction of a UN treaty banning the weapons, which was signed this year.
- 122 countries backed the treaty in July
- Talks boycotted by the world’s nine known nuclear powers
- Only three countries, the Holy See, Guyana and Thailand, have so far ratified the treaty, which requires 50 ratifications to come into force