Tim Wright, Asia-Pacific Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), speaks at UN Headquarters in New York, the United States on Oct. 9, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, expressed the hope on Monday that the newly negotiated Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will gain momentum and win countries over.
"We hope that the award of Nobel Peace Prize will help us in our campaigning to get countries to sign and ratify this vital international agreement," said Tim Wright, Asia-Pacific director of ICAN.
Wright renewed ICAN's call for Japan to sign and ratify the new treaty. "Its failure to do so is a betrayal of the hibakusha (the surviving victims of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan), who for more than 70 years have worked tirelessly to eliminate nuclear weapons," Wright told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.
"They have issued a dire warning to humanity and we must listen to their testimony and heed their call," he said.
ICAN chief Beatrice Fihn speaks at UN Headquarters in New York, the United States on Oct. 9, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
ICAN chief Beatrice Fihn expressed the hope that over time, more countries will accept the idea of the new treaty as has happened with the banning of chemical and biological weapons, landmines, and cluster bombs.
"We cannot force any one country to disarm. Countries will disarm when they think it's in their interests. What we are trying to do with this treaty is to make it in their interests to disarm."
She warned the menace of modern nuclear weapons. One U.S. nuclear-armed submarine has the explosive power of seven World War II's on it and 10 such submarines are patrolling the seas around the world, she said.
ICAN, a coalition of non-governmental organizations from around 100 different countries, won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its "efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons," the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced last week.