The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to
award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1998 to John Hume and
David Trimble for their efforts to find a peaceful
solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Over the past thirty years, the national, religious and social conflict in Northern Ireland has cost over 3,500 people their lives. John Hume has throughout been the clearest and most consistent of Northern Ireland's political leaders in his work for a peaceful solution. The foundations of the peace agreement signed on Good Friday 1998 reflect principles which he has stood for.
As the leader of the traditionally predominant party in Northern Ireland, David Trimble showed great political courage when, at a critical stage of the process, he advocated solutions which led to the peace agreement. As the head of the Northern Ireland government, he has taken the first steps towards building up the mutual confidence on which a lasting peace must be based.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee also wishes to emphasise the importance of the positive contributions to the peace process made by other Northern Irish leaders, and by the governments of Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee expresses the hope that the foundations which have now been laid will not only lead to lasting peace in Northern Ireland, but also serve to inspire peaceful solutions to other religious, ethnic and national conflicts around the world.
Oslo, October 16, 1998