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October 6th, 2017

NDP statement on ICAN being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

The NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs, Hélène Laverdière, made the following statement:

"New Democrats offer our warmest congratulations to our friends at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. ICAN was awarded the prize 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."

This award comes at a crucial time for the international community. ‎The threat of nuclear weapons is greater than it has been for a generation.

Yet, as today's award indicates, there is also much hope, and increasing motivation on the part of much of the international community to rid the world of these weapons that can cause so much human suffering.

On July 7 2017, 122 countries adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Unfortunately, Canada boycotted the negotiations for this Treaty and has refused to sign. The current Liberal position is in stark contrast to previous Canadian governments that had worked so hard to achieve international agreements such as the Ottawa Treaty to ban landmines.

The New Democratic Party is committed to a world without nuclear weapons. In the past year we have worked hard to raise this issue in Parliament. In June the Liberal government voted against a motion from the NDP asking Canada to sign the treaty.

We hope that today's announcement from the Nobel Committee will encourage Canada to change its position on the Nuclear Ban Treaty. Canadians want a world free of nuclear weapons. Signing this treaty would be an important first step. ‎It's time for Canada to act for nuclear disarmament.

We celebrate ICAN's important work and congratulate the campaign on this wonderful achievement. We also congratulate the many Canadian partners of ICAN‎ and Canadians who have campaigned for the Nuclear Ban Treaty: this is also your victory."