Nobel Prize Winning Nuclear Disarmament Proponent Honored By Santa Barbara Based Peace Group

Oct 22, 2018

She’s the head of an international coalition with a very simple goal that nevertheless has an incredibly complex path to becoming a reality. The objective?

To abolish nuclear weapons.

Beatrice Fihn was in Santa Barbara Sunday to accept the latest in a string of honors for her and her organization’s work.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons reached a huge milestone last year, one which led to the organization being awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. The United Nations passed a treaty ICAN was championing, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Fihn is ICAN’s Executive Director, and accepted the Nobel Prize on behalf of the coalition of non-governmental agencies fighting for nuclear disarmament in more than 100 countries. Fihn spoke to KCLU News from Geneva, Switzerland.

She and ICAN are the recipients of the Santa Barbara based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Distinguished Peace Leadership Award. The Foundation is a partner in ICAN, and so shares in the Nobel Prize. Fihn says the honor has helped focus new attention but that despite the passage of the UN treaty, huge obstacles remain.

The nations which actually have the nuclear weapons stockpiles, like the U.S. Russia, and China, are among the countries which haven’t signed on to the treaty. She says it’s going to take people around the world taking a stand to make it happen. Fihn says while there have been some notable accomplishments, there have also been setbacks.

She notes one of the biggest concerns is the Trump Administration backing away from the international nuclear disarmament treaty with Iran. Fihn says the reality is there continue to be a number of hot spots around the world, making the need for nuclear disarmament more pressing than ever.

The Nobel Prize winner says even though many think total nuclear disarmament is a difficult, perhaps impossible task, she believes it’s a realistic objective. Fihn says in this day and age, no one can afford to be neutral on the issue of nuclear disarmament. She says it isn’t a geopolitical issue. She calls it a human one.