News Archive
Dec 23, 2017 - Peace Boat, ICAN Celebrate the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo
Members of ICAN's International Steering Group and staff team in front of the Oslo City Hall. Photo: ICAN/Ralf Schlesener
Peace Boat had the great honor to take part in the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize celebrations in Oslo, Norway.

As one of ICAN's 468 partner organizations around the world and a member of ICAN's International Steering Group, Peace Boat attended the many official events, including the award-receiving ceremony, the Nobel banquet, the torchlight parade, the inauguration of the 2017 Nobel Peace Center exhibition, and the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, as well as numerous related events held in Oslo.

This year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) "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." The award shines a light on the path the ban treaty provides towards a world free of nuclear weapons and gives momentum to ICAN's cause.

Setsuko Thurlow and Beatrice Fihn received the diploma and medal on behalf of ICAN. Photo: ICAN/Jo Straube
The end of nuclear weapons
"The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending, and it is up to us what that ending will be. Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?"

Upon accepting the award on behalf of ICAN, Beatrice Fihn reminded the world that we are faced with a choice to make: to live in denial of the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons, or to demand to our governments to sign the nuclear ban treaty. Indeed, people can make a difference if they mobilize and have the power to make the end of nuclear weapons a reality.

Atomic bomb survivor from Hiroshima and ICAN campaigner Setsuko Thurlow, who jointly accepted the award along with Beatrice Fihn, not only shared her tragic experience but also her message of hope and conviction that "all responsible leaders will sign this treaty. And history will judge harshly those who reject it."

Setsuko Thurlow with the 1000 paper cranes. Photo: ICAN/Ari Beser
1000 Days of Action
On the day of the ceremony, ICAN launched a new campaign and fund to support those around the world working for signature and ratification of the UN nuclear ban treaty. In a beautiful event in front of Oslo's Parliament building, 1000 paper cranes were displayed, symbolizing that the power is in our hands to create a world free of the threat of nuclear weapons.

The 1000 paper cranes were folded by young people in Hiroshima, including students of Hiroshima Jogakuin- the school Setsuko attended, and brought to Oslo by Peace Boat. Each red crane had the name of one of ICAN's partner organizations around the world. They are now displayed at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

Atomic bomb survivors join the torchlight parade in Oslo. Photo: ICAN/Ari Beser
Keep pushing
Based on our work with atomic bomb survivors, Peace Boat facilitated the attendance and participation of atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, known as Hibakusha. Their message has been at the heart of the humanitarian initiative to ban nuclear weapons and the nuclear ban treaty itself.

A delegation of 20 Hibakusha led by Peace Boat went to Oslo to share their experience, celebrate ICAN's award and remind the world of why we fight for a world free of nuclear weapons. Among the many events they participated in, members of the delegation join a ceremony at the University of Oslo Botanic Gardens with the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to plant seeds of trees that survived the bombing of Hiroshima.

Tanaka Terumi shares his experience of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki with ICAN Campaigners as a reminder of why we fight, with interpretation by Peace Boat's Meri Joyce
Peace Boat is committed to continue its work with Hibakusha, especially as part of the Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World - Peace Boat Hibakusha Project, to appeal to all the countries we visit to sign, ratify and implement the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

In addition to our global outreach and advocacy, Peace Boat will also continue to play its leadership role to mobilize nationally to bring Japan - the only country to have experienced atomic bombing during wartime - to join the ban treaty.

Peace Boat is represented in ICAN's International Steering group by Kawasaki Akira and Celine Nahory, pictured here together at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony.
For more information:
Read the 2017 Nobel speeches here
More information about Peace Boat and ICAN here
More information about Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World - Peace Boat Hibakusha Project here
Visit ICAN's Nobel Peace Prize photo gallery here

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