How realistic is the fight for a nuclear ban?

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has been named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize - and has called on other states to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty, which was passed in July of this year, is considered the global initiative's biggest success so far despite being passed against the will of the nuclear powers and their allies. Commentators discuss whether the Nobel Prize will further the cause against nuclear weapons.

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Aamulehti (FI) /

A good choice

Aamulehti is delighted at the Nobel Committee's choice:

“The decision to award the renowned Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is a good choice with huge relevance today. With this year's prize the Nobel Committee wanted to take a clear stand on the situation in North Korea and the battle of words between Pyongyang and Washington. ... Year after year, decade after decade, nuclear weapons have remained a problem - and a danger to global peace. The sabre-rattling between North Korea's Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump has provoked new fears of a real nuclear war breaking out.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Admonition to display more courage and foresight

For diplomat Roberto Toscano the committee's choice is more than just a symbolic act, as he explains in La Repubblica:

“In recent times people have taken a sceptical view of the award, not least because of the role of Aung San Suu Kyi in the Rohingya drama. ... This time, however, the prize isn't going to one person only - and it can't be ruled out that this decision is based on the realisation that the prize needs to regain credibility - but to an organisation whose pacifist intentions can hardly be doubted. ... Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Ican is not a purely symbolic act but a serious admonition: even if the goal seems unrealistic today because we lack the courage and the foresight, we must move closer to it with realism and step-by-step disarmament.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

The prize goes to a pipedream

Lidové noviny is less than enthusiastic about the choice:

“The Committee's decision is hard to understand. Above all when you compare it with last year's winner. Colombia's President Santos had ended a guerilla war that had gone on for half a century in his country. That was a concrete and verifiable step. ... But what message was the Nobel Committee trying to send by selecting the Ican group? If the Committee was trying to say that nuclear programmes are a problem, it hit the mark. But the whole world has known that ever since Hiroshima. The fundamental question now is: are nuclear weapons or the regimes that want them the problem? ... The destruction of nuclear weapons as such will remain a utopia.”

Delo (SI) /

Culture of war dominates

Ican's desire for a world without nuclear weapons is unrealistic, Delo criticises:

“Conventions and weapons bans are already in effect. Nevertheless these deadly weapons are used on numerous fronts worldwide. Without pity or regard for the victims. All this happens because the culture of war and the business interests tied up with it are stronger than the culture of peace. Nuclear weapons are the most horrendous of all because millions of lives can be annihilated in the blink of an eye. ... And what's the alternative? A world without weapons. Disarmament. Respect for international treaties that ban the use of violence. That is the message from Oslo with this year's Peace Prize. But will it be heeded?”