WILPF, Executive Committee:
This is such a proud moment in our already proud history! Like all of you WILPF members, we, the ExCom, feel honoured and excited about the award of the Nobel Peace Prize 2017 to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons for its work that led to the adoption of the Nuclear Ban Treaty. WILPF has already issued public statements to welcome and appreciate the prize. The ExCom would also like to express our deep admiration and respect to the work of our members that made this award possible. Particularly, we would like to acknowledge the work of the Reaching Critical Will team, headed by the director, Ray Acheson, whose incredible knowledge and dedication has played a major part in the realisation of the dream to Ban the Bomb! We acknowledge and thank the incredible support of Allison Pytlak and of Mia Gandenberger and the dedicated work of staff and interns at WILPF over the years who have worked with RCW since its inception in 1999. We want to recognise the role of Susi Snyder, former SG of WILPF and indefatigable campaigner against the bomb, and of course, Felicity Ruby without whom we may not have had an RCW and without them…..who knows!
RCW has been a vital part of ICAN. They have provided the expertise and the guidance which has persuaded States to support the Treaty. The success, (despite the pouring rain), of the Women’s March on June 17, 2017 in New York and all the other Women’s Marches to Ban the Bomb in different parts of the world pushed the momentum for the treaty and demonstrated the importance of the tireless dedication of RCW and other WILPFers toward nuclear abolition. So many sections have worked for decades to bring this about and with the Nobel Peace Prize, that incredible patience and determination to prevail has been acknowledged.
WILPF can be proud that our President, Kozue Akibayashi has been at the fore front of this work for many years. Her strength, courage and sheer determination is appreciated by us all.
The nuclear states as well as NATO have already expressed their disagreement and disappointment with the Nobel Peace Prize. NATO is reported to have said that in the current security environment, nuclear weapons are necessary. It is the myth of “nuclear deterrence” that has escalated the tension between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that poses a real threat, not only to the people of North East Asia but to humanity as a whole.
There is a long road ahead of us before we achieve total nuclear disarmament. But for the moment, let’s celebrate the Nobel Peace Prize and feel warmed by the knowledge that eventually, together, we can achieve what we strive for.