Pace's Connection To This Year's Nobel Peace Prize

New York, NY
United States

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the worlds most prestigious awards and this year’s winner was announced last week: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). What makes this win so special to the Pace community is the fact that two Pace professors and about twenty students have been heavily involved in the negotiations surrounding the treaty!

Dr. Emily Welty, PhD, is a full time professor and the director of the Peace and Justice Studies department at Pace. Her work with the treaty has focused on mobilizing faith communities to speak out against nuclear weapons. She is the Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs, which is a member of ICAN. She is also the Main Representative to the United Nations for the International Peace Research Association.

Dr. Matthew Bolton, PhD, is a professor in the Political Science department and the faculty advisor for Pace’s Model UN Team. He has spent most of his career working on disarmament issues. He was part of an ICAN team that advocated for the treaty to include environmental remediation provisions and victim assistance. This team also successfully advocated for obligations on states to provide international assistance to countries affected by nuclear weapons.

The purpose of the treaty is to make nuclear weapons illegal and has been adopted by more than 120 countries. The Peace Prize win should assist in further adoption efforts. The ICAN team is made up of peace and disarmament organizations all over the world. The negations around the treaty included a small number of institutions: Harvard Law School, Princeton University and Monterey Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Pace’s efforts in disarmament and peace education were even praised by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.