Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
President Obama said Friday that he was "surprised and deeply humbled" by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel committee recognized Obama's efforts at dialogue to solve complex global problems, including working toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future,"
He rejected the notion that Obama had been recognized prematurely for his efforts and said the committee wanted to promote the president just it had Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 for his efforts to open up the Soviet Union.
Obama said he did not feel he deserved "to be in the company" of past Peace Prize winners, but would accept the prize while pushing for a broad range of international objectives, including nuclear nonproliferation, a reversal of the global economic downturn and a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
He also acknowledged the ongoing U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, noting that he is the "commander in chief of a country that is responsible for ending a war and working in another theater to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people" and U.S. allies.
"This award is not simply about my administration," he said. It "must be shared" with everyone who strives for "justice and dignity."
U.S. President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Obama had been awarded the prize for his calls to reduce the world’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons and work towards restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.
The committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
“Very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”
The laureate wins a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish crowns (1.4 million dollars or 878,000 pounds).
Obama was one of a record 205 nominees for this year’s prize and the decision has come as a surprise to many. Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, had been tipped as one of the favorites.
Despite his ambitious international agenda, Obama is yet to make a significant breakthrough in the Middle East or effectively deal with the threat of Iran’s nuclear program and his country is currently fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Has Obama done enough to justify winning the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who do you think should have won?