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ICAN warns US president over risk of nuclear war

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published January 25,2018

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), has warned the U.S. President Donald Trump over the real possibility of nuclear war, urging the international community not to ignore the nuclear threat.

"We are very concerned about Trump's new policy on nuclear weapons. It lowers the threshold of using nuclear weapons. It develops more usable nuclear weapons," Beatrice Fihn, ICAN executive director, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview in Davos, Switzerland.

"One thing we really do not need now is Trump who thinks he has more useable nuclear weapons and l think we need the opposite. So, it is quite concerning, very negative development," Fihn said.

ICAN is a global civil society coalition of non-governmental organizations from over 100 countries working for the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

The group -- with over 460 partner organizations -- has been "a driving force" on countries' promises to eliminate nuclear weapons in line with UN accords.

"l am also here to talk to other world leaders and encourage everyone to join the treaty on abolishing nuclear weapons," she said.

Fihn said ICAN had put a request to meet with officials from the Trump administration, but she said they had yet to hear from them.

About the North Korea nuclear crisis, she said: "I think tensions keep going up and down. If it is better now, it does not mean it is going to get worse in two-three weeks. I think anything can happen."

"As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is the risk of them being used. If we keep nuclear weapons forever, they will be used," Fihn warned.

"We are always counting down to the day where they are going to be used unless we get rid of them," she said.

About the possibility of abolishing nuclear weapons in the world, she said: "We have a choice we get rid of them now or we get rid of them after being used again."

"This is a high priority issue. We see the tensions last year. The global community can no longer ignore the nuclear threat. This is as big as climate change.

"This is an urgent threat that needs to be addressed. Because, if we do not do something, they will be used and all of us have to handle the nuclear war. That will be devastating," she said.

Over 3,000 participants from more than 110 countries and more than 340 public figures, including more than 70 heads of state and government and 45 heads of international organizations, are attending the Davos Economic Forum.

Also in Davos are 10 heads of state from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa, and six from Latin America, plus 40 Western leaders.