By Brenna Sullivan
In the past several months worries have mounted over tensions with North Korea and the possibility of the Trump Administration taking the United States out of the Iran nuclear treaty. However, there is some good news for those fighting for a world free of nuclear arms. The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Considering itself a conglomeration of grassroots organizations extending across more than 100 countries, ICAN is a strong proponent in promoting the stigmatization and elimination of nuclear weaponry. With active attempts at bringing about treaties of prohibition, ICAN’s greatest focus has been on highlighting of the humanitarian crises and catastrophe that nuclear weapons can bring. ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn states that the reliance that nations put on nuclear weapons for security is inappropriate and truly unacceptable.
In respect to Ms. Fihn’s thought, it is really critical to consider the meaning of peace in today’s current climate. Using coercive tactics such as the imposition of nuclear attack and the use of fear to silence opposition is not indicative of peace. True peace is not strictly the absence of outcry or threat, especially if that only applies to the most powerful nations. True peace implies the absence of both physical, militarized threat and, most critically, the deconstruction of power complexes that oppress nations and their citizens within. And while no true successful measures have been attained internationally against nuclear weapons, ICAN’s win reveals that now more than ever it is action rather than passivity that is going to make the greatest impact. It is with this action and the trajectory towards the two components of peace that ICAN exhibits that we are one step closer to a truly, unified world.