The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican).
Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, said it was due to the group’s “groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty prohibition” on nuclear weapons.
“We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time,” she continued.
She cited the North Korea issue.
Ms Reiss-Andersen called on nuclear-armed states to initiate negotiations to gradually eliminate the weapons.
In July, after pressure from Ican, 122 nations adopted a UN treaty designed to ban and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons. But none of the nine known nuclear powers in the world – including the UK and the US – signed up.
Ican, a coalition of hundreds of NGOs, is 10 years old and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The group will receive nine million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, £94,000) along with a medal and a diploma at a ceremony in December.
The Nobel prize citation read: “Some states are modernising their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has launched a series of rockets and a nuclear test this year, leading to an escalating war of words with US President Donald Trump.
Mr Trump, who commands one of the world’s most powerful nuclear arsenals, threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if his country is forced to defend itself or its allies.
How the prize is decided
- Eligible nominators from around the world can put forward candidates up to 1 February of the award year, while Nobel Committee members have more time
- All nominations are reviewed by the committee – whose five members are chosen by the Norwegian parliament – before a shortlist of 20-30 candidates are selected
- A group of Norwegian and international advisers write individual reports on the shortlisted candidates. Using these and further reports, the committee narrows the selection down to a handful
- A decision is reached in the last meeting of the committee, usually in late September or early October, before the prize is announced
- If a unanimous decision cannot be reached, a simple majority vote is used
- After the announcement, the award ceremony takes place on 10 December, the date of Alfred Nobel’s death