Nobel Peace Prize

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The Nobel Peace Prize (where Nobel is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable) is one of five Nobel Prizes bequested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. Ironically, as some point out, Alfred Nobel was the man whose invention - dynamite - led to the death of thousands if not millions of people. According to the will of Alfred Nobel the prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

The Peace Prize is awarded annually in Oslo, the capital of Norway, unlike the prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine and literature, which are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, whose members are chosen by the Norwegian Parliament, is appointed to select the laureate for the Peace Prize, and the prize is awarded by its chairman, currently Dr. Ole Danbolt Mjøs. At the time of Alfred Nobel's death Sweden and Norway were in a personal union in which the Swedish government was solely responsible for foreign policy, and the Norwegian Parliament was responsible for Norwegian domestic policy. While Alfred Nobel never told anybody [1] why he didn't give a Swedish body the task of awarding the Peace Prize, one of the suggested reasons has been to prevent the manipulation of the selection process by foreign powers. Other suggestions point to the fact that the Norwegian Assembly (Storting) was the first national legislature to vote support for the international peace movement and Nobel's admiration of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, the Norwegian patriot and leading author at that time.

Nominations for the prize may be made by a broad array of prominent individuals, including former recipients, members of national assemblies, university professors, international judges, and special advisors to the prize committee. In some years as many as 199 nominations have been received. The nominations are kept secret by the committee which asks that nominators do the same. Over time many individuals have become known as "Nobel Peace Prize Nominees", but this designation has no official standing [2]. Nominations from 1901 to 1951 have been released in a database. When the past nominations were released it was discovered that Adolf Hitler was once nominated in 1939, though the nomination was retracted in February of the same year.

Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, the Nobel Peace Prize may be awarded to persons or organizations that are in the process of resolving an issue, rather than upon the resolution of the issue. In this way, the Nobel Peace Prize differs from all the other Nobel prizes. Since the prize can be given to individuals involved in ongoing peace processes, some of the awards now appear, with hindsight, questionable, particularly when those processes failed to bear lasting fruit. For example, the awards given to Theodore Roosevelt, Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho, and Henry Kissinger were particularly controversial and criticized; the latter prompted two dissenting committee members to resign [3]. The Nobel Committee has also received criticism from right-wing groups who see their decisions as guided by an apparent left-wing bias.

In 2005, the Nobel Peace Center opened, to present the laureates, conflicts, and work for peace around the world.



List of Nobel Prize laureates in Peace from 1901 to the present day.

Year Individual or Organization Notes
1901 Jean Henri Dunant (Switzerland) founder of the Red Cross and initiator of the Geneva Convention.
Frédéric Passy (France) founder and president of the Société Française pour l'arbitrage entre nations.
1902 Élie Ducommun (Switzerland) and Charles Albert Gobat honorary secretaries of the Permanent International Peace Bureau in Berne.
1903 Sir William Randal Cremer (UK) secretary of the International Arbitration League.
1904 Institut de droit international (Gent, Belgium).
1905 Bertha Sophie Felicitas Baronin von Suttner, née Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau (Austria-Hungary) writer, honorary president of the Permanent International Peace Bureau.
1906 Theodore Roosevelt (USA) president of the United States, for drawing up the peace treaty in the Russo-Japanese War.
1907 Ernesto Teodoro Moneta (Italy) president of the Lombard League of Peace.
Louis Renault (France) professor of International Law.
1908 Klas Pontus Arnoldson (Sweden) founder of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration League.
Fredrik Bajer (Denmark) honorary president of the Permanent International Peace Bureau.
1909 Auguste Marie Francois Beernaert (Belgium) member of the Cour Internationale d'Arbitrage.
Paul-Henri-Benjamin d'Estournelles de Constant (France) founder and president of the French parliamentary group for international arbitration. Founder of the Comité de défense des intérets nationaux et de conciliation internationale
1910 Bureau International Permanent de la Paix (Permanent International Peace Bureau), Berne.
1911 Tobias Michael Carel Asser (Netherlands) initiator of the International Conferences of Private Law in The Hague.
Alfred Hermann Fried (Austria-Hungary) founder of Die Waffen Nieder.
1912 Elihu Root (USA) for initiating various arbitration agreements.
1913 Henri la Fontaine (Belgium) president of the Permanent International Peace Bureau.
1914 not awarded World War I
1915 not awarded World War I
1916 not awarded World War I
1917 International Red Cross, Geneva.
1918 Not awarded
1919 Woodrow Wilson (USA) president of the United States, for founding the League of Nations.
1920 Léon Victor Auguste Bourgeois president of the Council of the League of Nations.
1921 Hjalmar Branting (Sweden) prime minister, Swedish delegate to the Council of the League of Nations.
Christian Lous Lange (Norway) secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
1922 Fridtjof Nansen (Norway) Norwegian delegate to the League of Nations, originator of the Nansen passports for refugees.
1923 Not awarded
1925 Sir Austen Chamberlain (UK) for the Locarno Treaties.
Charles Gates Dawes (USA) chairman of the Allied Reparation Commission and originator of the Dawes Plan.
1926 Aristide Briand (France) for the Locarno Treaties.
Gustav Stresemann (Germany) for the Locarno Treaties.
1927 Ferdinand Buisson (France) founder and president of the League for Human Rights.
Ludwig Quidde (Germany) delegate to numerous peace conferences.
1928 Not awarded
1929 Frank B. Kellogg (USA) for the Briand-Kellogg Pact.
1930 Archbishop Lars Olof Nathan (Jonathan) Söderblom (Sweden) leader of the ecumenical movement.
1931 Jane Addams (USA) international president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Nicholas Murray Butler (USA) for promoting the Briand-Kellogg Pact.
1932 Not awarded
1933 Sir Norman Angell (Ralph Lane) (UK) writer, member of the Executive Committee of the League of Nations and the National Peace Council.
1934 Arthur Henderson (UK) chairman of the League of Nations Disarmament Conference
1935 Carl von Ossietzky (Germany) pacifist journalist.
1936 Carlos Saavedra Lamas (Argentina) president of the League of Nations and mediator in a conflict between Paraguay and Bolivia.
1937 The Viscount Cecil of Chelwood founder and president of the International Peace Campaign.
1938 Nansen International Office For Refugees, Geneva.
1939 Not awarded World War II
1940 Not awarded World War II
1941 Not awarded World War II
1942 Not awarded World War II
1943 Not awarded World War II
1944 International Committee of the Red Cross (awarded retroactively in 1945).
1945 Cordell Hull (USA) for co-initiating the United Nations.
1946 Emily Greene Balch (USA) honorary international president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
John R. Mott (USA) chairman of the International Missionary Council and president of the World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations
1947 The Friends Service Council (UK) and The American Friends Service Committee (USA) on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers.
1948 Not awarded Apparently it would have been awarded to Mahatma Gandhi had he not died. See the Nobel e-museum article. [4]
1949 The Lord Boyd-Orr (UK) director General Food and Agricultural Organization, president National Peace Council, president World Union of Peace Organizations.
1950 Ralph Bunche for mediating in Palestine (1948).
1951 Léon Jouhaux (France) president of the International Committee of the European Council, vice president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, vice president of the World Federation of Trade Unions, member of the ILO Council, delegate to the UN.
1952 Albert Schweitzer (Germany) for founding the Lambarene Hospital in Gabon.
1953 American Secretary of State George Catlett Marshall for the Marshall Plan.
1954 The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
1955 Not awarded
1956 Not awarded
1957 Lester Bowles Pearson (Canada) president of the 7th session of the United Nations General Assembly for introducing peacekeeping forces to resolve the Suez Crisis.
1958 Georges Pire (Belgium) leader of L'Europe du Coeur au Service du Monde, a relief organization for refugees.
1959 Philip Noel-Baker (UK) for his lifelong ardent work for international peace and co-operation.
1960 Albert Lutuli (South Africa) president of the ANC (African National Congress).
1961 Dag Hammarskjöld (Sweden) secretary-general of the UN (awarded posthumously).
1962 Linus Carl Pauling (USA) for his campaign against nuclear weapons testing.
1963 International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva.
League of Red Cross Societies, Geneva.
1964 Martin Luther King Jr (USA) campaigner for civil rights.
1965 United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF)
1966 Not awarded
1968 René Cassin (France) president of the European Court of Human Rights.
1969 International Labour Organization (I.L.O.), Geneva.
1970 Norman Borlaug (USA) for research at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
1971 Chancellor Willy Brandt (West Germany) for West Germany's Ostpolitik, embodying a new attitude towards Eastern Europe and East Germany.
1972 Not awarded
1973 Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger (USA) and Foreign Minister Le Duc Tho (Vietnam, declined) for the Vietnam peace accord.
1974 Seán MacBride (Ireland) president of the International Peace Bureau and the Commission of Namibia of the United Nations.
Eisaku Sato (佐藤榮作) (Japan) prime minister.
1975 Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (USSR) for his campaigning for human rights.
1976 Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan founders of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People).
1977 Amnesty International, London for its campaign against torture.
1978 President Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat (Egypt) and Prime Minister Menachem Begin (Israel) for negotiating peace between Egypt and Israel.
1979 Mother Teresa (India) poverty awareness campaigner (India)
1980 Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentina) human rights
1981 The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
1982 Alva Myrdal (Sweden) and Alfonso García Robles (Mexico) delegates to the United Nations General Assembly on Disarmament.
1983 Lech Wałęsa (Poland) founder of Solidarność and campaigner for human rights. Later served as the first president of Poland after the fall of Communism
1984 Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu (South Africa) for his work against apartheid.
1985 International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Boston.
1986 Elie Wiesel (USA) author, Holocaust survivor
1987 President Óscar Arias Sánchez (Costa Rica) for initiating peace negotiations in Central America.
1988 United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces. For participation in numerous conflicts since 1956. As of the time of the award, 736 people from a variety of nations had lost their lives in peacekeeping efforts.
1989 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.
1990 President Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (USSR) "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community"
1991 Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar) "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights"
1992 Author Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala) "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples"
1993 President Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and former President Frederik Willem de Klerk (South Africa) "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa"
1994 PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres (Israel) and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Israel) "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East"
1995 Józef Rotblat (Poland/UK) and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs "for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms"
1996 Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo (East Timor) and José Ramos Horta (East Timor) "for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor"
1997 International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and Jody Williams "for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines"
1998 John Hume and David Trimble (both Northern Ireland) "for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland"
1999 Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels. "in recognition of the organization's pioneering humanitarian work on several continents"
2000 President Kim Dae Jung (김대중) (South Korea) "for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular"
2001 The United Nations and Secretary-General Kofi Annan (Ghana) "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world"
2002 Jimmy Carter (USA) - former President of the United States "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development"
2003 Shirin Ebadi (شیرین عبادی), (Iran) "for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children."
2004 Wangari Maathai (Kenya) "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"
2005 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei (Egypt) "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way"


The Nobel Peace Prize is controversial in numerous respects. The parliament of Norway is responsible for appointing the Peace Prize committee. The same parliament has pursused partisan military aims by ratifying membership in NATO in 1949, by hosting NATO troops, and by leasing ports and territorial waters to US ballistic missile submarines in 1983. By contrast Sweden, which awards the other Nobel Prizes, has remained neutral.

A particular claimed weakness of the Nobel Peace Prize awarding process is the swiftness of recognition. The scientific and literature Nobel prizes are usually issued in retrospect, often two or three decades after the intellectual achievement, thus representing a time-proven confirmation and balance of approval by the established academic community, seldom contradicted by newer developments. In contrast, the Nobel Peace prize at times takes the form of summary judgment, being issued in the same year as or the year immediately following the political act. Some commentators have suggested that to award a peace prize on the basis of unquantifiable contemporary opinion is unjust or possibly erroneous. This situation may be said to deprive the 'real' peace makers, who may not be recognised for their long-term or subtle approaches. However, others have pointed to the uniqueness of the Peace prize in that its high profile can often focus world attention on particular problems and possibly aid in the peace-efforts themselves. When looked at more closely, the peace-laureates often have a lifetime's history of working at and promoting humanitarian issues, as in the examples of Mother Teresa, a Christian Missionary of foreign origin (1979 laureate) and Aung San Suu Kyi (1991 laureate).

See also

External links

Nobel Prizes
The Sciences
Chemistry | Physiology or Medicine | Physics
The Arts, Theological Science, and the Peace Prize
Literature | Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel | Peace Prize
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