The Nobel Peace Prize 1983
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1983 to Lech Walesa.
In reaching this decision the Committee has taken into account Walesa's contribution, made with considerable personal sacrifice, to ensure the workers' right to establish their own organisations.
This contribution is of vital importance in the wider campaign to secure the universal freedom to organise – a human right as defined by the United Nations.
Lech Walesa's activities have been characterised by a determination to solve his country's problems through negotiation and cooperation without resorting to violence. He has attempted to establish a dialogue between the organisation he represents – Solidarity – and the authorities. The Committee regards Walesa as an exponent of the active longing for peace and freedom which exists, in spite of unequal conditions, unconquered in all the peoples of the world.
The Committee has on several occasions when awarding the Peace Prize emphasised that a campaign for human rights is a campaign for peace. Furthermore the Committee believes that Walesa's attempt to find a peaceful solution to his country's problems will contribute to a relaxation of international tension.
In an age when detente and the peaceful resolution of conflicts are more necessary than ever before, Lech Walesa's contribution is both an inspiration and an example.
Oslo, October 5, 1983
From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1981-1990, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Irwin Abrams, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1997
Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1983