Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize 2009; controversy and debate follow award
Special to USAfricaonline.com
Oct. 9, 2009: President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Nobel Committee said.
“The Nobel Committee has in particular looked at Obama’s vision and work toward a world without atomic weapons,” Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the five-member Nobel committee said in an interview broadcast on Norway’s TV2. “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics.”
Obama, 48, the first black U.S. president, was elected last year on a platform of extracting the U.S. from the Iraq war while increasing focus on an eight-year conflict in Afghanistan. All U.S. forces are scheduled to be withdrawn from Iraq by 2011, after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to be awarded the prize, following Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Former President Jimmy Carter won in 2002.
“Multilateral diplomacy is again central, with emphasis on the role the United Nations and other international institutions should play,” Jagland said. “Dialogue and negotiations are the preferred method to solve even the most difficult international conflicts.”
The prize, along with other honors for literature, physics, medicine and chemistry, was created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in his will and first awarded in 1901. Finland’s Martti Ahtisaari won the peace prize last year and past laureates include Martin Luther King Jr. and groups such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Prizes for literature, chemistry, medicine and physics, are picked by the Stockholm-based Nobel Foundation. ref: Bloomberg/
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