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Saturday 7th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

Corbyn salutes anti-nuclear Nobel win – but calls for states to act

JEREMY CORBYN hailed yesterday’s Nobel Peace Prize win for nuclear disarmament campaigners — and called for “an urgent response” from governments that do too little to achieve a nuclear-free world.

He said that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) deserved the prize.

The Labour leader said he was “proud” to have worked with the group for many years and called for serious talks on disarmament.

With tensions between the US and North Korea escalating, the need to avoid a “nuclear apocalypse” was more pressing than ever, he warned.

“Sadly, Theresa May and the Conservatives have tried to turn the issue into a party political game.

“They are deeply irresponsible. Acting to prevent war, especially nuclear war, should be the starting point of any serious and sensible defence and foreign policy,” he argued.

“As a member of the [UN] security council, Britain has an important responsibility and role to play. The next Labour government will ensure Britain takes a lead in strengthening global peace and security.”

The Nobel committee said it gave the award to ICAN for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

ICAN said it was a great honour to have been awarded the prize following the an “historic” global treaty ban on nuclear weapons backed by 122 countries in July.

The group paid tribute to the decades of grassroots campaigning across the world that led to the UN treaty, which opened for signatures last month.

But it warned that “the spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more” and urged nations to declare their “unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons.”

Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Anderson said: “Through its inspiring and innovative support for the UN negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, ICAN has played a major part in bringing about what in our day and age is equivalent to an international peace congress.”

Leading nuclear powers — including Britain and the other four UN security council members — boycotted the peace talks and have refused to sign up to the treaty.

And warmongering Nato condemned the move as unrealistic. It claimed that it risked undermining the international response to North Korea’s atomic weapons programme.

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs minister Sir Alan Duncan told Parliament earlier this year that the government snubbed the New York discussions because it did not believe the UN treaty would lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament.

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Star comment: p10

FROM P1: Survivors of the devastating nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US in 1945 — the only time nuclear weapons have been used in aggression — welcomed the decision to award the prize to ICAN.

Hiroshima survivor Sunao Tsuboi said that “as long as I live, I hope to work toward a realisation of a world without nuclear weapons with ICAN and many other people.”

Campaign Against Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson said the award was a huge step forward for the movement at a time when the prospect of nuclear war seems closer than it has for a generation.

“That’s why we warmly welcome the decision of the Nobel committee to support those who are struggling for more co-operation and less confrontation, defying the sordid logic of our present world leaders who appear to be hell-bent on war,” she said.