"The German government supports the goal of achieving a world without nuclear weapons and congratulates both the Norwegian Nobel Committee on its choice and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on the award," announced deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer at the government press conference, shortly after Oslo’s decision was announced.
"Global zero" is the goal
Like its predecessors, the German government is "firmly committed to the goal of achieving what is termed ‘global zero’, or a world that is completely free of nuclear weapons," declared Ulrike Demmer. That is laid down in the current coalition agreement. The deputy government spokesperson stressed that the German government agrees on this point with many partners in the European Union, in NATO and beyond.
Some states, however, still see nuclear weapons as something that can be used in military conflicts. "For as long as this remains the case, and Germany and Europe are threatened by this, the need to uphold a nuclear deterrent remains. This is assured by NATO," said Ulrike Demmer.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) aims to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of nuclear weapons. ICAN has been working hard in recent years to advance UN negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The Campaign was launched in Melbourne in 2007 by doctors from IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) and other organisations.
Dialogue is the right way forward
In the specific field of nuclear disarmament the German government has been working intensively in recent years to achieve concrete and verifiable progress on the basis of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. "We believe that dialogue, talks and negotiations with the states that have nuclear weapons point the only right way forward," explained Ulrike Demmer.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded every year since 1901 on 10 December, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, in Oslo. Like the other Nobel Prizes it comes with nine million Swedish krona (equivalent to about 940,000 euros).