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14 Questions and Answers about the Nobel Peace Prize

Geir Lundestad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, answers frequently asked questions about the Nobel Peace Prize.


How do you plan for a new Nobel Peace Prize?
The procedure is based on nominations before February 1. Then 5-6 committee meetings with reports from different experts. Conclusion drawn in early October; award ceremony always on December 10.
More about the nomination process

Geir Lundestad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Photo: Mr. Geir Bjerke. Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Navngivelse-Del på samme vilkår 3.0 Unported
Geir Lundestad.
Photo: Mr. Geir Bjerke. Wikimedia Commons

Can you choose anyone for the Nobel Peace Prize?
In theory yes, as long as we follow the criteria in Alfred Nobel's will of 1895.
Alfred Nobel's will

Who selects the Peace Prize Laureate?
The Norwegian Nobel Committee.
More about the Committee

How do you know if a person or an organization deserves to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize? Do you always agree? What happens if you do not agree?
We discuss the candidates over several months, input from experts. A majority of the Norwegian Nobel Committee can decide, but the committee tries to achieve consensus.

Can you mention a Nobel Peace Prize when you haven't agreed?
No, this is secret.

What Nobel Peace Prize has been most criticized?
Difficult to say, possibly the one to Henry A. Kissinger and Le Duc Tho in 1973.
The 1973 Nobel Peace Prize

What Nobel Peace Prize has been most popular?
Difficult to say, possibly the one to Nelson Mandela in 1993.
The 1993 Nobel Peace Prize

Do you regret selecting any of the Prizes over the years?
No comment.

Can a Nobel Peace Prize be revoked?
No.
According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, §10, a Nobel Prize cannot be revoked.

Why do you keep everything about the Prizes secret for 50 years?
We are bound by the Nobel statutes on the 50 years.
Statutes of the Nobel Foundation, §10

What do you think the Nobel Peace Prize means today? What do you think it will mean in the future?
"The world's most prestigious prize" is a phrase often used.

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama is questioned a lot. Was he a good choice for the Prize?
The Committee certainly thinks so.

Barack Obama was awarded the Prize only nine months after his presidency. What had he done to deserve it?
Alfred Nobel's will stresses achievements during the preceding year, corresponding to the months Barack Obama had been in power. His achievements are listed in the announcement document.
The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, press release
Video from the announcement
Interview with Geir Lundestad following the announcement
Short interview with Barack Obama in 2013

Strong opinions have been voiced to revoke Barack Obama's Nobel Prize. Is that possible?
No.

 

First published 5 September 2013

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MLA style: "14 Questions and Answers about the Nobel Peace Prize. Geir Lundestad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, answers frequently asked questions about the Nobel Peace Prize and the 2009 Peace Prize to Barack Obama.". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 23 Jul 2014. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nomination/peace/questions-geir-lundestad-2013.html>

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