Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize
It was announced on October 9, 2009 that American President Barack Obama is this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace. The Nobel Foundation states that Obama was chosen "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." (Nobel Foundation) Controversy and debate ensued in the world wide media. Critics have debated Obama’s worthiness. Supporters have cited numerous examples of the current U.S. Presidents’ nobility. Obama does deserve this prestigious award. Nobel prizes are awarded for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace, and Economics. In his will, award creator Alfred Nobel “specifically designated the institutions responsible for the prizes he wished to be established” (Nobel Foundation) Candidates for the peace prize are nominated by a five person committee that is elected by the Norwegian Parliament. The process for selection of the award winners takes over a year, starting in September when the Nobel Committee sends out invitations to qualified people to submit nominations, ending with the announcement thirteen months later and finally the award ceremony in December. (Nobel Foundation) In defense of a process “normally shrouded in secrecy, four of the Nobel jury's five judges spoke out recently about a selection they said was both merited and unanimous''. (MacDougall) “He got the prize for what he has done,'' explained committee chairman Thorbjorn Jaglan “All these things have contributed to, I wouldn't say a safer world, but a world with less tension.'' Jaglan goes on to say “Alfred Nobel wrote that the prize should go to the person who has contributed most to the development of peace in the previous year…Who has done more for that than Barack Obama?'' (MacDougall) This isn’t the first time the Nobel Peace Prize selections have been met with controversy. In 1994, the prize was awarded by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat...
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