Aussie Nobel Peace Prize winners chuffed

October 07, 2017

The anti nuclear weapons that won the Nobel Prize was launched in Victoria 10 years ago.

An Australian-born international group pushing for a ban on nuclear weapons has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was launched in Victoria's Parliament House 10 years ago, was announced as the winner in Oslo on Friday.

It comes at a time when the world is watching the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and the rhetoric of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, as well as the US threat to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.

In awarding the prize, Berit Reiss-Andersen, leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said: "We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time."

ICAN describes itself as a coalition of non-government organisations in more than 100 countries. It was launched internationally in Vienna in 2007.

The organisation worked on negotiations for the Treaty on the United Nations Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted by 122 countries in July. It was shunned by nuclear powers the US, Britain, Russia and China. Australia also did not sign the treaty.

ICAN founder Tilman Ruff said being awarded the Nobel Prize was "quite humbling" and "unbelievably joyful".

"Particularly, I think of the nuclear victims, the test survivors, the people who've provided painful testimony that has helped to really inform and make real the humanitarian motivation and underpinning for this treaty," Mr Ruff told ABC News on Friday.

On its Facebook page, the group said: "This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth....

"This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror. The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now."

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