Their Majesties The King and Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway were all in Oslo yesterday for the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017, which was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
The awards ceremony was held in the Central Hall of Oslo City Hall, and the Peace Prize Laureate was presented to ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn by Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Fihn was joined in her acceptance by Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing in 1945.
Before the official ceremony at Oslo City Hall, King Harald held an audience with Ms Fihn and the Vice Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Henrik Syse, at the Royal Palace. The audience was also attended by Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said of winner ICAN:
“The organisation 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.
“ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organisations from around 100 different countries around the globe. The coalition has been a driving force in prevailing upon the world’s nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. To date, 127 states have made such a commitment, known as the Humanitarian Pledge.
“Furthermore, ICAN has been the leading civil society actor in the endeavour to achieve a prohibition of nuclear weapons under international law. On 7 July 2017, 122 of the UN member states adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As soon as the treaty has been ratified by 50 states, the ban on nuclear weapons will enter into force and will be binding under international law for all the countries that are party to the treaty.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee is aware that an international legal prohibition will not in itself eliminate a single nuclear weapon, and that so far neither the states that already have nuclear weapons nor their closest allies support the nuclear weapon ban treaty. The Committee wishes to emphasise that the next steps towards attaining a world free of nuclear weapons must involve the nuclear-armed states. This year’s Peace Prize is therefore also a call upon these states to initiate serious negotiations with a view to the gradual, balanced and carefully monitored elimination of the almost 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world.”
The ceremony was followed by the Nobel Peace Prize banquet at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, with all four senior Norwegian royals in attendance.