The world has spent more time worrying about the possibility of nuclear war in the last month or so than it has in recent memory, thanks to arguably the two most egotistical leaders in the world. President Donald Trump recently threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, and North Korea’s government responded by saying perhaps they would detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.
So it seems fitting that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on Friday to The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a group that wants to put an end to nuclear weapons (and create a world where we don’t have to worry about two nations armed with nukes and led by men who hate nothing more than stabs at their ever-ballooning egos.)
Announcing the award on its website, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wrote that “we live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time,” and that ICAN “is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”
That treaty — a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” — was approved by 122 members of the United Nations in July, marking the first time a treaty has been signed that would theoretically lead to the end of nuclear weapons.
Those 122 nations, perhaps obviously, did not include the world’s nine nuclear powers, but ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn didn’t expect those countries to sign, according to The New York Times. Instead, she hoped that the treaty would begin to put pressure on those countries, including the United States, to disband their nuclear arsenals.
Nikki Haley, the U.S.’s ambassador to the U.N., said the treaty isn’t realistic when North Korea was ramping up its nuclear capabilities and wasn’t likely to sign onto such a treaty itself.
“This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment,” the United States, United Kingdom, and France wrote in a joint denunciation of the treaty. “Accession to the ban treaty is incompatible with the policy of nuclear deterrence, which has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years.”
The Nobel committee seems to think differently.