Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or Ican, on Sunday urged nuclear countries, including India, to adopt a United Nations treaty that bans atomic weapons. Ican won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
Delivering her Nobel Lecture in Oslo after receiving the prize, Fihn said that the world’s mutual destruction was “only one impulsive tantrum away”. She asked people to demand their governments to sign the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Fihn delivered the lecture with Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bombing and now a campaigner for Ican.
“We will not rest until all states have joined, on the side of reason,” Fihn said, asking India to “choose sense over senselessness” and Pakistan to “choose logic over Armageddon”. She also named the other seven countries that boycotted a UN meeting in July when 122 nations approved the treaty.
Ican is a coalition of non-governmental organisations from 100 different countries. It won the award for its work “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”, the Nobel Committee said.
‘Our luck will run out’
Fihn said that the world had avoided a nuclear war not because of good leadership, but through good fortune, and “our luck will run out”, sooner or later.
“A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego, could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities,” Fihn said. “A calculated military escalation could lead to the indiscriminate mass murder of civilians.”
She said the world had a choice “between the two endings: the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us”. She said it was not naive, irrational or idealistic to believe in the first choice, rather “it is a necessity”.