OSLO: U.S. President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “ their extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy
and cooperation among peoples,”the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and efforts to curb nuclear proliferation.
The choice Obama made impressive third U.S. president to be to win the Nobel Peace Prize and Nobel Prize surprised observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the deadline of February 1 nomination.
Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award, but many analysts believed the Nobel Prize was too early to award the president.
“ Only very rarely does a person the same as Obama captured the attention of the world, and given his people hope for a better future,”the committee said. “ His diplomacy is based on the concept that those who are leading the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by most of the world’s population.”
The committee said it attaches particular importance to Obama’s vision and work towards a world without nuclear weapons.
“ Obama as president has created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role the United Nations and other international institutions can play,”the committee said.
Theodore Roosevelt won the award in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson won in 1919. Former President Jimmy Carter won in 2002, while former Vice President Al Gore shared the 2007 prize with the UN panel on climate change.
The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for the award this year.
In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go to “ the person who has done most or the best work for fraternity between nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and propagation of peace congresses.”
Unlike the other Nobel prizes which are awarded by Swedish institutions, said the peace prize should be given by a committee of five members elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Sweden and Norway were united under one crown at the time of Nobel’s death.
The commission has adopted a broad interpretation of the guidelines of Nobel Prize extending beyond the mediation of peace to include the fight against poverty, disease and climate change