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Why is Nobel Peace Prize given by Norway?

Nobel Prize copy

Stockholm, Dec 10 (PTI) Ever wondered why the Nobel Peace Prize is given by a Norwegian Committee in Oslo and not in the Swedish capital unlike the other Nobel awards?

Since 1901, when Nobel Prizes were first given, Peace Prize has been awarded by a committee of five, appointed by the Norwegian Parliament Storting in accordance with Alfred Nobel’s will.

Alfred Nobel never disclosed why he didn’t give the task of awarding the Peace Prize to a Swedish body.

The reasons are speculative.

One argument is that Nobel admired Norwegian patriot and leading author Bjornstjerne Bjornson while another is that the Storting was the first national legislature to vote in support for the international peace movement.

Nobel may also have favoured distribution of the tasks related to the Nobel Prizes within the Swedish-Norwegian union or he may have feared that given the highly political nature of the Peace Prize, it might become a tool in power politics thus reducing its significance as an instrument for peace.

“It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not,” Nobel wrote in his will.

During the 20th century, eight Scandinavians have won the Peace Prize – five Swedes, two Norwegians and one Dane.

In the nomination and selection process, the committee has the assistance of a secretary and since the establishment of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in 1904, this person is also the institute’s director.

There have been several criticism and protests against decisions of the Norwegian Nobel Committee since 1901.

The Peace Prize award ceremony on December 10 is the culmination of a long selection process.

According to rules, there can be a maximum of three Laureates in a category every year.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee begins the whole process by inviting nominations which can be submitted by February 1 each year.

Who are entitled to nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize?  Present and past members of the Nobel Committee and advisers at the Nobel Institute; members of national assemblies and governments, and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice at the Hague and members of the Commission of the Permanent International Peace Bureau.

Besides them, members of the Institut de Droit International and present university professors of law, political science, history and philosophy; and holders of the Nobel Peace Prize can also nominate.

After reviewing their qualifications, a shortlist of the candidates is made.

The announcement of the Laureate’s name is often made on a Friday in mid-October at the Nobel Institute building and the award is presented annually on December 10, the day Alfred Nobel died in 1896.

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