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Nobel Peace Prize
Presented by Norwegian Nobel Committee on behalf of the estate of Alfred Nobel
Location Oslo, Norway
Reward 11 million SEK (2023)
First awarded 10 December 1901; 122 years ago (1901-12-10)
Currently held by Narges Mohammadi (2023)

The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: [Nobels fredspris] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor and armaments (military weapons and equipment) manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine and Literature. Since March 1901, it has been awarded annually (with some exceptions) to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". The Oxford Dictionary of Contemporary History describes it as "the most prestigious prize in the world".

In accordance with Alfred Nobel's will, the recipient is selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a five-member committee appointed by the Parliament of Norway. Since 2020 the prize is awarded in the Atrium of the University of Oslo, where it was also awarded 1947–1989; the Abel Prize is also awarded in the building. The prize was previously awarded in Oslo City Hall (1990–2019), the Norwegian Nobel Institute (1905–1946), and the Parliament (1901–1904).

Due to its political nature, the Nobel Peace Prize has, for most of its history, been the subject of numerous controversies. The most recent prize was awarded to women's rights advocate Narges Mohammadi from Iran for her work in "fighting against the oppression of women in Iran".

Background

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who in the preceding year "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". Alfred Nobel's will further specified that the prize be awarded by a committee of five people chosen by the Norwegian Parliament.

Nobel died in 1896 and he did not leave an explanation for choosing peace as a prize category. As he was a trained chemical engineer, the categories for chemistry and physics were obvious choices. The reasoning behind the peace prize is less clear. According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, his friendship with Bertha von Suttner, a peace activist and later recipient of the prize, profoundly influenced his decision to include peace as a category. Some Nobel scholars suggest it was Nobel's way to compensate for developing destructive forces. His inventions included dynamite and ballistite, both of which were used violently during his lifetime. Ballistite was used in war and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an Irish nationalist organization, carried out dynamite attacks in the 1880s. Nobel was also instrumental in turning Bofors from an iron and steel producer into an armaments company.

It is unclear why Nobel wished the Peace Prize to be administered in Norway, which was ruled in union with Sweden at the time of Nobel's death. The Norwegian Nobel Committee speculates that Nobel may have considered Norway better suited to awarding the prize, as it did not have the same militaristic traditions as Sweden. It also notes that at the end of the 19th century, the Norwegian parliament had become closely involved in the Inter-Parliamentary Union's efforts to resolve conflicts through mediation and arbitration.

Nomination and selection

Norske nobelinstiutt 1
The Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway
Dalai Lama and Bishop Tutu. Carey Linde
The 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureates
Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATES FOR 1994 IN OSLO.
Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin displaying their 1994 Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Parliament appoints the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which selects the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Nomination

Each year, the Norwegian Nobel Committee specifically invites qualified people to submit nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The statutes of the Nobel Foundation specify categories of individuals who are eligible to make nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. These nominators are:

  • Members of national assemblies and governments and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice at the Hague
  • Members of Institut de Droit International
  • Academics at the professor or associate professor level in history, social sciences, philosophy, law, and theology, university rectors, university directors (or their equivalents), and directors of peace research and international affairs institutes
  • Previous recipients, including board members of organizations that have received the prize
  • Present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
  • Former permanent advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Institute

The working language of the Norwegian Nobel Committee is Norwegian; in addition to Norwegian the committee has traditionally received nominations in French, German and English, but today most nominations are submitted in either Norwegian or English. Nominations must usually be submitted to the committee by the beginning of February in the award year. Nominations by committee members can be submitted up to the date of the first Committee meeting after this deadline.

In 2009, a record 205 nominations were received, but the record was broken again in 2010 with 237 nominations; in 2011, the record was broken once again with 241 nominations. The statutes of the Nobel Foundation do not allow information about nominations, considerations, or investigations relating to awarding the prize to be made public for at least 50 years after a prize has been awarded. Over time, many individuals have become known as "Nobel Peace Prize Nominees", but this designation has no official standing, and means only that one of the thousands of eligible nominators suggested the person's name for consideration. Indeed, in 1939, Adolf Hitler received a satirical nomination from a member of the Swedish parliament, mocking the (serious but unsuccessful) nomination of Neville Chamberlain. Nominations from 1901 to 1971 have been released in a database.

Selection

Nominations are considered by the Nobel Committee at a meeting where a shortlist of candidates for further review is created. This shortlist is then considered by permanent advisers to the Nobel institute, which consists of the institute's Director and the Research Director and a small number of Norwegian academics with expertise in subject areas relating to the prize. Advisers usually have some months to complete reports, which are then considered by the committee to select the laureate. The Committee seeks to achieve a unanimous decision, but this is not always possible. The Nobel Committee typically comes to a conclusion in mid-September, but occasionally the final decision has not been made until the last meeting before the official announcement at the beginning of October.

Awarding the prize

Jimmy Carter Library and Museum 145
Obverse and reverse of the Nobel Peace Prize Medal

The Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee presents the Nobel Peace Prize in the presence of the King of Norway and the Norwegian royal family on 10 December each year (the anniversary of Nobel's death). The Peace Prize is the only Nobel Prize not presented in Stockholm. The Nobel laureate receives a diploma, a medal, and a document confirming the prize amount. As of 2019, the prize was worth 9 million SEK. Since 1990, the ceremony has taken place at Oslo City Hall.

From 1947 to 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony was held in the Atrium of the University of Oslo Faculty of Law, a few hundred meters from Oslo City Hall. Between 1905 and 1946, the ceremony took place at the Norwegian Nobel Institute. From 1901 to 1904, the ceremony took place in the Storting (Parliament).

Medal

The medal for the Peace Prize was designed by the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland in 1901. Vigeland's profile sculpture of Alfred Nobel differs from Erik Lindberg's profile of Nobel on the chemistry, literature, physics, and physiology or medicine medals. The dies for Vigeland's peace medal were made by Lindberg as Vigeland was not an engraver. The reverse of the medal features three men in a 'fraternal bond' and the inscription 'Pro pace et fraternitate gentium' ("For the peace and brotherhood of men"). The edge of the medal is inscribed with the year of its awarding, with the name of its recipeint and "Prix Nobel de la Paix".

Laureates

Friedensnobelpreis 2001 Vereinte Nationen
View of a diploma – Nobel Peace Prize 2001, United Nations

As of October 2022, the Peace Prize has been awarded to 110 individuals and 27 organizations. 18 women have won the Nobel Peace Prize, more than any other Nobel Prize. Only two recipients have won multiple Prizes: the International Committee of the Red Cross has won three times (1917, 1944, and 1963) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has won twice (1954 and 1981). Lê Đức Thọ is the only person who refused to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Premio Nobel de la Paz para niños

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