LONDON (CBSMiami) — This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to group in Switzerland that’s working towards a global ban on nuclear weapons.
The award comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and President Trump’s criticism over Iran’s nuclear program.
The award came as a surprise to the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN.
“Really overwhelmed by all this, it’s a huge honor,” said ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn.
For the past decade, ICAN activists have been trying to convince nuclear-armed nations to prohibit and eliminate their weapons programs.
“You can’t threaten to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of security,” said Fihn. “That’s not how you build security, and it doesn’t make us safer.”
The award may send a signal to the U.S. and North Korea that negotiations over nuclear weapons are vital to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
It’s also a show of support for the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal which ICAN pushed for despite President Trump calling it an “embarrassment” and not in America’s national interest.
ICAN’s leader said the Trump presidency has put a spotlight on the risks of nuclear weapons.
“The election of President Donald Trump has made a lot of people feel very uncomfortable with the fact that he alone can authorize the use of nuclear weapons and there’s nothing people can do to stop him,” said Fihn.
The Nobel Prize committee said ICAN’s work is needed now, more than ever, to eliminate nuclear weapons.
More than 300 nominees were up for this year’s peace prize. Along with the honor, the Nobel committee awarded ICAN more than a million dollars.