Executive Director of the ICAN & Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Beatrice Fihn is Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. She accepted the Nobel Peace Prize and delivered the Nobel Laureate lecture in Oslo on behalf of the campaign, along with Hiroshima bombing survivor, Setsuko Thurlow. Read More >
Threat of Nuclear Weapons to Europe
We are Really Close to a Nuclear Disaster
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Speech
A millennial herself, Beatrice Fihn passionately calls young people to use three incredibly powerful weapons that are nearly impossible to stop once combined: hope, energy and social media. ICAN is a youth-led organization, an organization that since its inception 10 years ago has already garnered the world’s attention by achieving the unthinkable; an international treaty that prohibits nuclear weapons. Ms. Fihn credits much of ICAN’s success to their uniting seasoned anti-nuclear weapons campaigners with young activists by reminding them that these weapons are not a thing of the past. More than ever, she reminds young people, especially young women that their voices are needed to wrestle power from the old men who created these weapons and threaten us daily with death and destruction.
In this very timely and urgent keynote, Beatrice Fihn makes the case that there is no good policy, no safe policy, for nuclear weapons other than their complete elimination. Global nuclear policy makes one major dangerous error: it assumes that all people involved in the nuclear decision-making process are rational actors; they are not. Recent headlines regarding the U.S. and North Korea’s inflammatory rhetoric highlight the imminent threat of nuclear war at the hands of irrational actors. A security based on the threat of mass murder is immoral. The nuclear-armed states and their allies vehemently avoid discussing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, simply hoping that their use won’t happen. But just relying on luck is not an appropriate security strategy.
In this powerful speech, Ms. Fihn compellingly argues against the logic of deterrence as means of maintaining international security. The world no longer accepts the argument that nations must maintain chemical and biological weapons reserves for deterrent or retaliatory purposes as we collectively understand that they are weapons of mass destruction, their purpose is indiscriminate mass murder and they are prohibited as such. Why are nuclear weapons held to a different standard? The crisis in North Korea has woken many people up to the fact we are living under the threat of imminent extinction at any moment, and it has also shown the failure of deterrence. These are quite simply weapons of mass murder that will cause death and destruction on a humanitarian scale never seen. If we keep nuclear weapons forever, they will be used. We must choose: the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us?
"It went very, very well and Beatrice gave a great speech to our graduates, families and entire audience. I heard many great comments about her talk! She is a wonderful person and it was a real pleasure meeting her!"