September 29, 2011
by Dr SJ Dodgson at drsusanna.org
The Nobel Peace Prize is announced in Oslo, Norway, the first Friday in October. During the week around it, Nobel Prizes are announced from Stockholm, Sweden, for Medicine, Chemistry, Physics, Literature, and Economics.
Nobel prizes, including the Nobel Peace Prize, have been awarded since 1900 because Mr Nobel made a megafortune from, um, dynamite. Which has its uses in peace, like when you need to blow up a house when a tornado has done its worst. Mostly, it is used in war, and I understand the fortune Mr Nobel made is continuing to increase.
Somehow, because the universe has no logic, dynamite has been laundered into an enormous force for building bridges. Here is a complete list, from the Nobel Foundation, of all the Nobel Peace prizewinners. (Click here for other African Nobel Laureates.)
Please note that not a single George Bush is on the list; but Al Gore is; so is Barack Obama, so is Jimmy Carter. So are some organizations, like Médecins Sans Frontières, the United Nations (hm, United Nations and Kofi Annan, its Ghanaian Secretary General were named the week the US started bombing Afghanistan, which has to be one of the greatest failures of the UN of all time); Amnesty International. And my own religious group, the Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers. And sometimes a single fierce person is named, like in 2004, Wangari Muta Maathi. and in 1984, Desmond Tutu.
Every now and then, a prize is not awarded. No prizes were awarded during most of the first world war, and the second world war. When a date is missing in this list, it was not awarded that year.
So why does anyone care about a prize given by a group in Norway, a little tiny country that is frozen most of the year, and has the highest standard of living in the world? And is governed by women? OK. I answered my own question for my own satisfaction. But to give you a satisfactory answer: the award of the medal and citation on December 10 each year comes with buckets of money.
The Nobel Prize is, I understand, the world's richest prize. Which makes it a very great honor to be a recipient. Because Nobel Prize recipients who have been working with the poorest suddenly have the world's attention, and the ability to raise funds for people who can most benefit from them. And that, in my book, is marvelous!!!
2010 Liu Xiaobo; 2009 Barack H. Obama; 2008 Martti Ahtisaari; 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.; 2006 Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank; 2005 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , Mohamed ElBaradei; 2004 Wangari Muta Maathai; 2003 Shirin Ebadi; 2002 Jimmy Carter; 2001 United Nations (U.N.) Kofi Annan; 2000 Kim Dae-jung; 1999 Médecins Sans Frontières; 1998 John Hume, David Trimble; 1997 International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) , Jody Williams; 1996 Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, José Ramos-Horta; 1995 Joseph Rotblat, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; 1994 Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin; 1993 Nelson Mandela, Frederik Willem de Klerk; 1992 Rigoberta Menchú Tum; 1991 Aung San Suu Kyi ; 1990 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev; 1989 The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) ; 1988 United Nations Peacekeeping Forces; 1987 Oscar Arias Sánchez; 1986 Elie Wiesel; 1985 International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; 1984 Desmond Mpilo Tutu; 1983 Lech Walesa; 1982 Alva Myrdal, Alfonso García Robles; 1981 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); 1980 Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; 1979 Mother Teresa; 1978 Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin; 1977 Amnesty International; 1976 Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan; 1975 Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov; 1974 Seán MacBride, Eisaku Sato; 1973 Henry A. Kissinger, Le Duc Tho; 1971 Willy Brandt; 1970 Norman E. Borlaug; 1969 International Labour Organization (I.L.O.); 1968 René Cassin; 1965 United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) ; 1964 Martin Luther King Jr.; 1963 Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee
of the Red Cross) , Ligue des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge (League of Red
Cross Societies) ; 1962 Linus Carl Pauling; 1961 Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld; 1960 Albert John Lutuli; 1959 Philip J. Noel-Baker; 1958 Georges Pire; 1957 Lester Bowles Pearson; 1954 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); 1953 George Catlett Marshall; 1952 Albert Schweitzer; 1951 Léon Jouhaux; 1950 Ralph Bunche; 1949 Lord (John) Boyd Orr of Brechin; 1947 Friends Service Council (The Quakers) , American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) ; 1946 Emily Greene Balch, John Raleigh Mott; 1945 Cordell Hull; 1944 Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross) ; 1938 Office international Nansen pour les Réfugiés (Nansen International Office for Refugees); 1937 Cecil of Chelwood, Viscount (Lord Edgar Algernon Robert Gascoyne Cecil); 1936 Carlos Saavedra Lamas; 1935 Carl von Ossietzky; 1934 Arthur Henderson; 1933 Sir Norman Angell (Ralph Lane); 1931 Jane Addams, Nicholas Murray Butler; 1930 Lars Olof Jonathan (Nathan) Söderblom; 1929 Frank Billings Kellogg; 1927 Ferdinand Buisson, Ludwig Quidde; 1926 Aristide Briand, Gustav Stresemann; 1925 Sir Austen Chamberlain, Charles Gates Dawes; 1922 Fridtjof Nansen; 1921 Karl Hjalmar Branting, Christian Lous Lange; 1920 Léon Victor Auguste Bourgeois; 1919 Thomas Woodrow Wilson; 1917 Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross); 1913 Henri La Fontaine; 1912 Elihu Root; 1911 Tobias Michael Carel Asser, Alfred Hermann Fried; 1910 Bureau international permanent de la Paix (Permanent International Peace Bureau) ; 1909 Auguste Marie François Beernaert, Paul Henri Benjamin Balluet d'Estournelles de Constant, Baron de Constant de Rebecque; 1908 Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Fredrik Bajer; 1907 Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, Louis Renault; 1906 Theodore Roosevelt; 1905 Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner, née Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau; 1904 Institut de droit international (Institute of International Law); 1903 William Randal Cremer; 1902 Élie Ducommun, Charles Albert Gobat; 1901 Jean Henry Dunant; 1901 Jean Henry Dunant, Frédéric Passy.