Friday, October 12, 2012
Nobel Peace Prize 2012 Goes To The European Union
The Huffington Post reports:

The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its efforts to promote peace and democracy in Europe – an award given even though the bloc is struggling with its biggest crisis since it was created in the 1950s.The Norwegian prize committee said the EU was being honored for six decades of contributions “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”"The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform a once-torn Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace," Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.The EU grew out of the tremendous devastation of World War II, fueled by the conviction that ever-closer economic ties would make sure that century-old enemies never turned on each other again. It’s now made up of 500 million people in 27 nations, with other nations lined up, waiting to join.But the European project is now facing its greatest challenge yet – a debt crisis that has stirred deep tensions between north and south, caused unemployment to soar across the bloc and is threatening the euro, the common currency used by 17 of its members.Social media exploded with strong reactions Friday, both for and against, awarding the prize – worth 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million)."The EU is an unique project that replaced war with peace, hate with solidarity. Overwhelming emotion for awarding of (hash)Nobel prize to EU," Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, wrote in a tweet."Nobel prize for the EU. At a time Brussels and all of Europe is collapsing in misery. What next? An Oscar for Van Rompuy?" said Dutch euro-skeptic lawmaker Geert Wilders, referring to Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.The idea of a united Europe began to take on a more defined shape when, on May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and the Federal Republic of Germany pool their coal and steel resources in a new organization that other European countries could join."Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners," the committee said.The citation also noted the democratic conditions the EU has demanded of all those nations waiting to join, referred to Greece and Spain when they joined the 1980 after dictatorships, and to the countries in Eastern Europe who sought EU membership after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall."The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest," Jagland said. "The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.It was not yet clear who would accept the prize for the EU.The EU has been seen as possible candidate for the Nobel for many years, and the members of the committee had previously praised the community’s significance as a promoter of peace and democracy in Europe. The chairman, Jagland, is also the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, a human rights group.But skepticism against the EU runs high in oil-rich Norway, which is not a member and where popular opinion is firmly against membership. Norwegian voters rejected joining the EU twice, in 1972 and 1994.Over time, the EU has grown from six countries to 27, absorbing countries in Eastern Europe as they emerged from decades under communist rule.The EU’s success in making war between Germany and France unthinkable is beyond dispute. On the contrary, those two countries these days tend to be the EU’s dominant players, with the French president and the German chancellor often getting together to, in effect, hash out EU policy. Britain has always been a half-hearted member since joining in the 1970s, and is not part of the 17-nation eurozone which shares a common currency.While there have never been wars inside EU territory, the confederation has not been able to prevent European wars outside its borders. When the deadly Balkans wars erupted in the 1990s, the EU was unable by itself to stop them. It was only with the help of the United States and after over 100,000 lives were lost was peace eventually restored in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Nobel Peace Prize 2012 Goes To The European Union

The Huffington Post reports:

The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its efforts to promote peace and democracy in Europe – an award given even though the bloc is struggling with its biggest crisis since it was created in the 1950s.
The Norwegian prize committee said the EU was being honored for six decades of contributions “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”
"The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform a once-torn Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace," Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.
The EU grew out of the tremendous devastation of World War II, fueled by the conviction that ever-closer economic ties would make sure that century-old enemies never turned on each other again. It’s now made up of 500 million people in 27 nations, with other nations lined up, waiting to join.
But the European project is now facing its greatest challenge yet – a debt crisis that has stirred deep tensions between north and south, caused unemployment to soar across the bloc and is threatening the euro, the common currency used by 17 of its members.
Social media exploded with strong reactions Friday, both for and against, awarding the prize – worth 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million).
"The EU is an unique project that replaced war with peace, hate with solidarity. Overwhelming emotion for awarding of (hash)Nobel prize to EU," Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, wrote in a tweet.
"Nobel prize for the EU. At a time Brussels and all of Europe is collapsing in misery. What next? An Oscar for Van Rompuy?" said Dutch euro-skeptic lawmaker Geert Wilders, referring to Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.
The idea of a united Europe began to take on a more defined shape when, on May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and the Federal Republic of Germany pool their coal and steel resources in a new organization that other European countries could join.
"Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners," the committee said.
The citation also noted the democratic conditions the EU has demanded of all those nations waiting to join, referred to Greece and Spain when they joined the 1980 after dictatorships, and to the countries in Eastern Europe who sought EU membership after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
"The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest," Jagland said. "The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.
It was not yet clear who would accept the prize for the EU.
The EU has been seen as possible candidate for the Nobel for many years, and the members of the committee had previously praised the community’s significance as a promoter of peace and democracy in Europe. The chairman, Jagland, is also the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, a human rights group.
But skepticism against the EU runs high in oil-rich Norway, which is not a member and where popular opinion is firmly against membership. Norwegian voters rejected joining the EU twice, in 1972 and 1994.
Over time, the EU has grown from six countries to 27, absorbing countries in Eastern Europe as they emerged from decades under communist rule.
The EU’s success in making war between Germany and France unthinkable is beyond dispute. On the contrary, those two countries these days tend to be the EU’s dominant players, with the French president and the German chancellor often getting together to, in effect, hash out EU policy. Britain has always been a half-hearted member since joining in the 1970s, and is not part of the 17-nation eurozone which shares a common currency.
While there have never been wars inside EU territory, the confederation has not been able to prevent European wars outside its borders. When the deadly Balkans wars erupted in the 1990s, the EU was unable by itself to stop them. It was only with the help of the United States and after over 100,000 lives were lost was peace eventually restored in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize Winners 2011: President Ellen Johnson, Activist Leymah Gbowee & Activist Tawakkul Karman

The Huffington Post reports:

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, peace activist Leymah Gbowee, and human rights activist Tawakkul Karman have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Prize Committee lauded their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and women’s rights to fully participate in peace-building work. The three recipients were announced today in a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.



From the Nobel Peace Prize official website:
"It is the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s hope that the prize to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman will help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realise the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent."
Karman, a 32-year-old mother who heads the human rights group Women Journalists without Chains, has been a leading figure in the protests against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “She is known among Yemenis as ‘the iron woman’ and the ‘mother of the revolution,’” the Associated Press writes. ”A conservative woman fighting for change in a conservative Muslim and tribal society, Tawakkul Karman has been the face of the mass uprising against the authoritarian regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.”
"I am very very happy about this prize," Karman told the news service from a protest tent in Sanaa."This prize is not for Tawakkul, it is for the whole Yemeni people, for the martyrs, for the cause of standing up to (Saleh) and his gangs. Every tyrant and dictator is upset by this prize because it confronts injustice."
"With two civil wars, an al-Qaida presence and 40% unemployment, what else is President Saleh waiting for? He should leave office now," she told The Guardian.
Johnson Sirleaf, 72, is a Harvard-trained economist who became Africa’s first democratically elected female president in 2005.
Sirleaf was seen as a reformer and peacemaker when she took office in Liberia, a country ravaged by civil wars that is still struggling to maintain a fragile peace.
Sirleaf is running for re-election this month and opponents i have accused her of buying votes and using government funds to campaign. Sirleaf denies the charges.
The committee cited Johnson Sirleaf’s efforts to secure peace in her country, promote economic and social development and strengthen the position of women.
"We are dancing," Bushuben Keita, a spokesman for Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf’s United Party told The New York Times. ”This is the thing that we have been saying, progress has been made in Libera. We’ve come through 14 years of war and we have come to sustained peace. We’ve already started dancing.”
Gbowee, head of the Women Peace And Security Network, was honored by the Committee for for mobilizing women “across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women’s participation in elections.” Gbowee brought together Christian and Muslim women against the power of Liberia’s warlords.
"I know Leymah to be a warrior daring to enter where others would not dare," Gbowee’s assistant,Bertha Amanor, said to the AP. ”So fair and straight, and a very nice person.”
The prize is awarded by a five-person committee chosen by the Norwegian parliament, lead this year by Thorbjoern Jagland. Speculation had swirled over who would receive the prize, with Jagland telling the Associated Press that the prize would be given to something “obvious” that he considered “the most positive development” in the world right now.
According the official Nobel Prize website, today’s presentation marks the 92nd time the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded since 1901.
When Alfred Nobel died in 1895, part of his last will and testament requested the distribution of his fortune as prizes for “the person who 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.” Last year’s winner, Liu Xiaobo, received the award for his struggle for human rights in China. President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize the previous year for his efforts in international diplomacy.

Nobel Peace Prize Winners 2011: President Ellen Johnson, Activist Leymah Gbowee & Activist Tawakkul Karman

The Huffington Post reports:

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, peace activist Leymah Gbowee, and human rights activist Tawakkul Karman have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Prize Committee lauded their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and women’s rights to fully participate in peace-building work. The three recipients were announced today in a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.


From the Nobel Peace Prize official website:

  • "It is the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s hope that the prize to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman will help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realise the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent."

Karman, a 32-year-old mother who heads the human rights group Women Journalists without Chains, has been a leading figure in the protests against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “She is known among Yemenis as ‘the iron woman’ and the ‘mother of the revolution,’” the Associated Press writes. ”A conservative woman fighting for change in a conservative Muslim and tribal society, Tawakkul Karman has been the face of the mass uprising against the authoritarian regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.”

"I am very very happy about this prize," Karman told the news service from a protest tent in Sanaa."This prize is not for Tawakkul, it is for the whole Yemeni people, for the martyrs, for the cause of standing up to (Saleh) and his gangs. Every tyrant and dictator is upset by this prize because it confronts injustice."

"With two civil wars, an al-Qaida presence and 40% unemployment, what else is President Saleh waiting for? He should leave office now," she told The Guardian.

Johnson Sirleaf, 72, is a Harvard-trained economist who became Africa’s first democratically elected female president in 2005.

Sirleaf was seen as a reformer and peacemaker when she took office in Liberia, a country ravaged by civil wars that is still struggling to maintain a fragile peace.

Sirleaf is running for re-election this month and opponents i have accused her of buying votes and using government funds to campaign. Sirleaf denies the charges.

The committee cited Johnson Sirleaf’s efforts to secure peace in her country, promote economic and social development and strengthen the position of women.

"We are dancing," Bushuben Keita, a spokesman for Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf’s United Party told The New York Times. ”This is the thing that we have been saying, progress has been made in Libera. We’ve come through 14 years of war and we have come to sustained peace. We’ve already started dancing.”

Gbowee, head of the Women Peace And Security Network, was honored by the Committee for for mobilizing women “across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women’s participation in elections.” Gbowee brought together Christian and Muslim women against the power of Liberia’s warlords.

"I know Leymah to be a warrior daring to enter where others would not dare," Gbowee’s assistant,Bertha Amanor, said to the AP. ”So fair and straight, and a very nice person.”

The prize is awarded by a five-person committee chosen by the Norwegian parliament, lead this year by Thorbjoern Jagland. Speculation had swirled over who would receive the prize, with Jagland telling the Associated Press that the prize would be given to something “obvious” that he considered “the most positive development” in the world right now.

According the official Nobel Prize website, today’s presentation marks the 92nd time the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded since 1901.

When Alfred Nobel died in 1895, part of his last will and testament requested the distribution of his fortune as prizes for “the person who 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.” Last year’s winner, Liu Xiaobo, received the award for his struggle for human rights in China. President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize the previous year for his efforts in international diplomacy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WikiLeaks Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

The Huffington Post:

A Norwegian lawmaker has nominated WikiLeaks for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, saying Wednesday that its disclosures of classified documents promote world peace by holding governments accountable for their actions.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee keeps candidates secret for 50 years, but those with nomination rights sometimes make their picks known.
Snorre Valen, a 26-year-old legislator from Norway’s Socialist Left Party, told The Associated Press he handed in his nomination in person on Tuesday, the last day to put forth candidates.
"I think it is important to raise a debate about freedom of expression and that truth is always the first casualty in war," Valen said. "WikiLeaks wants to make governments accountable for their actions and that contributes to peace."
Valen also announced his choice on his blog, where he wrote that WikiLeaks had advanced the struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom of speech, just like last year’s winner, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
Valen cited disclosures of nepotism and corruption in Tunisia’s presidential family, saying WikiLeaks “made a small contribution to bringing down” that regime.
The prize committee typically receives more than 200 nominations, so being nominated doesn’t say anything about a candidate’s chances of actually winning. And there’s no way of knowing for sure that people who announce candidates actually submitted a legitimate nomination to the award committee.
Kristian Harpsviken, a leading Nobel-watcher and director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, said he didn’t consider WikiLeaks as a strong candidate for the 10 million kronor ($1.6 million) award.
"The reason I think it’s unlikely is that there has been so much criticism of WikiLeaks, not least how they have handled identification issues of people in the documents," he said. "I don’t think it quite does the trick."
Harpsviken keeps a list of “possible and confirmed nominations,” based on public announcements and his own sources. His list this year includes WikiLeaks as well as Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking material to the website.
Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, Afghan human rights advocate Sima Samar, and several rights groups including U.S.-based Wings of Hope and Cuban opposition movement Damas de Blanco are also on the list.
His own top guess is Russian rights group Memorial, followed by activists Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Ory Okolloh of Kenya.
The committee will announce the winner in October.