The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations all over the world promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This landmark global agreement was adopted in New York on 7 July 2017.
ICAN Norway is the Norwegian branch of this campaign that coordinates about 60 partner organizations.
ICAN Norway advocates for:
- the stigmatization and elimination of nuclear weapons
- Norway to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- the recognition that any use of nuclear weapons have disastrous humanitarian consequences.
Structure in Norway
The Norwegian ICAN coalition consists of humanitarian organizations, peace organizations, trade unions, youth parties, environmental organizations, religious organizations and financial institutions. What unites the organizations is the wish for a world free of nuclear weapons and the belief that nuclear weapons must be banned.
ICAN Norway is governed by a council with representatives from four of the partner organizations: Norwegian physicians against nuclear weapons, No to Nuclear Weapons Norway, the Norwegian Peace Council and the Norwegian People's Aid Solidarity Youth. In Norway, the campaign is financed by Norwegian physicians against nuclear weapons.
ICAN's head office is in Geneva where an international management team and a team of staff coordinates the campaign's activities internationally.
How we work
ICAN organizes global days of action, hold public awareness-raising events, and engage in advocacy at the United Nations and in national parliaments. We work with survivors of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of nuclear tests, helping share their testimonies with the public and decision makers.
ICAN began in Australia and was formally launched in Austria in April 2007. The campaign’s founders were inspired by the tremendous success of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which a decade earlier had played an instrumental role in the negotiation of the anti-personnel mine ban convention, or Ottawa treaty.
Since then ICAN has worked to build a powerful global grassroot movement of public support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. By engaging a diverse range of groups and working alongside the Red Cross and like-minded governments, we have helped reshape the debate on nuclear weapons and generated momentum towards their total elimination.
In 2017 ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its “work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and its “ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.
The catastrophic, persistent effects of nuclear weapons on our health, societies and the environment must be at the centre of all public and diplomatic discussions about nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. This is the basic principle underpinning the ICAN campaign and what has become known as the Humanitarian Initiative.
From 2010, governments, the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, various United Nations agencies, and non-government organizations began working together to reframe the debate on nuclear weapons – giving rise to the groundbreaking UN process to negotiate a global prohibition on nuclear weapons.