International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Founded 2007 in Vienna
Type Non-profit
international campaign
Field Nuclear weapons disarmament
430+ non-governmental organizations in 90+ countries

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a global civil society coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate and support negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. ICAN was launched in 2007 by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and today counts more than 270 partner organizations in 60 countries. ICAN calls on states, international organizations and other actors to:

  • Acknowledge that any use of nuclear weapons would cause catastrophic humanitarian harm.
  • Acknowledge that there exists a universal humanitarian imperative to ban nuclear weapons, even for states that do not possess these weapons.
  • Acknowledge that the nuclear possessors have an obligation to eliminate their nuclear weapons.
  • Take immediate action to support a multilateral process of negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

On 2 and 3 March 2013 in Oslo ICAN hosted the ICAN Civil Society Forum to unite civil society around the unacceptability of the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and call for the start of a process to secure a treaty banning them. The forum immediately preceded the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons on 4 and 5 March.

ICAN also organize the "Nuclear Abolition Day".[1]


ICAN was launched internationally in Vienna in 2007 at a meeting of parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. National launches have also taken place in Australia, Canada, France, India, Italy, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Romania, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.


ICAN aims to galvanize public and government support for a multilateral process for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. ICAN seeks to shift the disarmament debate to focus on the humanitarian threat posed by nuclear weapons, drawing attention to their unique destructive capacity, their indiscriminate targeting, the debilitating impact of a detonation on medical infrastructure and relief measures, and the long-lasting effects of radiation on the surrounding area.[2]

ICAN 2013 Civil Society Forum

A banner advertising ICAN's Civil Society Forum in Oslo on 2 and 3 March 2013

On 20 April 2012 Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced that Norway would host a meeting in Oslo in 2013 on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, scheduled for 4 and 5 March 2013.[3]

In conjunction with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' event, ICAN hosted a large-scale and inclusive civil society event which took place immediately before the government conference, from 2–3 March 2012. The ICAN Civil Society Forum highlighted the Humanitarian Conference and brought together civil society actors to create a burgeoning movement towards a process for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. The forum featured analysis from experts about the humanitarian risks posed by the use of nuclear weapons, personal testimony from the victims from the bombing of Hiroshima and of nuclear weapons tests, and workshops to discuss campaigning strategies and action plans. Over 200 organizations from 60 countries were represented at the event, in addition to government delegations featuring both technical experts and political figures.[4]

The event featured an address by and interview with Martin Sheen and representatives from Obama for America.[4]

Nuclear Abolition Week and Share Your Shadow Campaign

From July 6 to July 13 ICAN coordinated Nuclear Abolition Week. In recent years ICAN has planned an annual Nuclear Abolition Day, which has included non-violent street demonstrations, benefit concerts and recitals, picnics, vigils, marches and educational workshops. According to ICAN, "the aim is to raise public awareness about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and build political support for negotiations for a treaty banning these weapons."[5]

Nuclear Abolition Week 2013 also witnessed the launch of ICAN’s new public outreach initiative, Share Your Shadow, sought to encourage the public to take pictures of their own shadows and share them through various social media outlets, in homage to the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in support of the start of negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Membership and Support

ICAN is made up of more than 340 partner organizations in over 80 countries, including the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

An International Steering Group (ISG) provides leadership and strategic management of the campaign, while an International Staff Team (IST) provides ongoing coordination of the campaign internationally.

Member Organizations

See also


  1. "About the day – Nuclear Abolition Day, 2 June 2012". International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Retrieved 23 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The Case against Nuclear Weapons". International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Retrieved 6 Nov 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces Humanitarian Conference on Nuclear Weapons". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 1 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "ICAN Civil Society Forum, March 2-3". International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Retrieved 6 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links