‘Nobel Peace Prize not a poll station,’ says committee’s Jagland / News / The Foreigner

‘Nobel Peace Prize not a poll station,’ says committee’s Jagland. 2013’s Nobel Peace Prize awardee was not without its objectors, as usual. Whilst it was given to the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), many were hoping it would go to Malala Yousafzai.         Malala, a Pakistani student and women’s education rights campaigner, was the target of a failed Taliban assassination attempt in in the Swat Valley, northwest of the country’s capital Islamabad in 2012. She was recently awarded the EU’s Andrei Sakharov Prize for 2013.

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‘Nobel Peace Prize not a poll station,’ says committee’s Jagland

Published on Monday, 14th October, 2013 at 09:42 under the news category, by Linn Schjerven and Lyndsey Smith   .
Last Updated on 16th December 2013 at 21:22.

2013’s Nobel Peace Prize awardee was not without its objectors, as usual.

Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjørn Jagland
Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjørn Jagland
Photo: ©2013 Linn Schjerven/The Foreigner


Whilst it was given to the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), many were hoping it would go to Malala Yousafzai.        

Malala, a Pakistani student and women’s education rights campaigner, was the target of a failed Taliban assassination attempt in in the Swat Valley, northwest of the country’s capital Islamabad in 2012. She was recently awarded the EU’s Andrei Sakharov Prize for 2013.

The Foreigner talked with Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjørn Jagland after today’s announcement and press conference.

The Nobel Committee has had its intentions questioned due to previous awards that have been handed. Considering that Malala was a popular contender, how will the committee respond to any big criticism that may come?

This is not a poll station. We’re not looking at polls. We’re not looking at campaigns going on in the news media, we’re looking at facts, using scientists, experts,” he said.

Talking of last year’s controversial award to the EU, Mr Jagland continued, “The facts regarding the European Union are overwhelming. 70 million people were killed in two wars in Europe, so ask those families who lost their own boys whether it was good that they got the European Union, whether it’s good for peace here.

President Barack Obama got the Peace Prize in 2009.

“The prize to Obama likewise. He restarted the nuclear arms talks with Russia. That’s enough to get the prize. The facts are also overwhelming for this prize, I would say,” declared Mr Jagland.

How does the committee keep themselves from being influenced by popular opinion or what the media says?

“By looking at the criteria in Alfred Nobel’s will, which are very clear, and using experts from Norway as well as from abroad to help us. It’s easier by looking at these facts, Of course it is important that a debate is going on, but if you were only to look at that then you could make a poll and have a decision.”

Are there different considerations for organizations and individuals?

“It’s very important to understand that because there are many ways to peace,” Mr Jagland answered.

“We need strong personalities. We need people who are taking big risks like [2010 Peace Prize laureate] Liu Xiaobo, Andrei Sakharov, Aung San Suu Kyi, they are very important for peace. But they cannot create peace alone. We need politicians. We needed Obama to make a change in the whole international climate. We needed international institutions. We need regional institutions like the European Union, or the UN.”

During Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize announcement, Mr Jagland said it wanted to recognize the OPCW’s 16-years of “extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.”

“The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law.”

“Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons,” he stated.

OPCW director-general Ahmet Üzümcü expressed that he was honored and hoped that the award would be an encouragement for the remaining six countries outside the convention to take part in “this nearly universal convention."

Are current events taken as a consideration?

“It was an argument for highlighting this, but not the only one,” said Thorbjørn Jagland to The Foreigner.

The UN recently asked Norway to assist in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. Both Russia and the US suggested the Scandinavian country due to its stable government and water quantities.

The Syrian regime has been given nine months to deliver and destroy what is estimated to be 1,000 tons of nerve gas and other chemicals.

“We had it [this year’s Nobel Peace Prize possible winner] on the table before chemical weapons were used in Syria. So maybe we would have given the prize without what had happened this summer in Syria, I think so. But the current situation is such that we have to focus again on the need for disarmament,” Mr Jagland declared.

News about the OPCW’s win was announced by NRK an hour prior to the Nobel Peace press conference. Swedish news bureau TT has criticized both NRK’s and TV2’s seemingly uncanny annual ability to announce what they believe to be the correct winner before the Nobel Committee does.

259 nominees were received this year.




Published on Monday, 14th October, 2013 at 09:42 under the news category, by Linn Schjerven and Lyndsey Smith   .
Last updated on 16th December 2013 at 21:22.

This post has the following tags: nobelpeaceprize, norwaynobel.





  
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