Nobel Peace Prize awarded to University of Exeter academic
Anti-nuclear campaigners, including a University of Exeter academic, have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The work of Richard Moyes and other members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was honoured
because of their “ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty prohibition” on nuclear weapons.
Mr Moyes runs the organisation Article 36, which is an International Steering Group member of the ICAN. Article 36 works to prevent the unintended, unnecessary or unacceptable harm caused by certain weapons.
ICAN has campaigned and worked in partnership with governments and the International Committee of the Red Cross for the development of an international legal treaty which prohibits nuclear weapons. The treaty puts nuclear weapons on the same footing as the other weapons of mass destruction – chemical and biological weapons – that were already prohibited through specific legal instruments.
Mr Moyes, who is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter, said:
“The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize highlights the importance of this new treaty at a time when the threat of nuclear weapons is more pressing than ever in recent decades. ICAN focused attention on the humanitarian impact that the use of these weapons would cause – with just a single weapon threatening to kill and injure hundreds of thousands of people and to poison their environment for the future. Despite the politics of these weapons, the scale of humanitarian suffering that they can cause means they cannot be considered acceptable.”
The international treaty needs to be ratified by 50 countries in order to come into force and Mr Moyes said he hopes the Nobel Prize would strengthen efforts to make this happen.
“This new treaty is a first step towards a different international conversation about nuclear weapons. It is clear we cannot continue with the kinds of brinkmanship that threaten hundreds of thousands of lives at the very least. The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize award will help to ensure that, over time, these weapons are recognized as illegal by all,” he said.
Mr Moyes carries out research about the the impact of weapons and violence, working for NGOs and civil-society coalitions.