Friday, October 9, 2009

And the Award Goes to…President Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Today the Nobel Committee announced that they would award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” His selection has been called controversial by some as he was in office for only two weeks before the February 1 nomination deadline. Here is President Obama’s response to today’s announcement in which he says that he was both “surprised and deeply humbled,” by the award.

I think it’s important to also note that President Barack Obama is not the first sitting president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both received the award as sitting presidents, and their selection as recipients of the prize was also deemed controversial at the time. In 1906, Teddy Roosevelt won the Peace Prize for drawing up the 1905 peace treaty between Russia and Japan. Woodrow Wilson won in 1919 as the founder of the League of Nations.

Interestingly, Jimmy Carter is the only president to win the Peace Prize for his efforts after leaving office. He was recognized by the Nobel Committee 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.” Al Gore, a former vice president and presidential candidate, also won in recognition of his efforts once he left political life. He shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their join efforts to “disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change.”

Find a complete list of Nobel Peace Prize recipients here.

Find worldwide reaction to Obama’s selection here.

For an interesting account of the circumstances surrounding Teddy Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize, including what he did with the award money, visit the Theodore Roosevelt Association.

[Image via Independent and Sameulatgilgal]

No comments:

Post a Comment