Charles Albert Gobat
The Nobel Peace Prize 1902
Born: 21 May 1843, Tramelan, Switzerland
Died: 16 March 1914, Bern, Switzerland
Residence at the time of the award: Switzerland
Role: Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union; Honorary Secretary, Permanent International Peace Bureau, Bern, Switzerland
Prize motivation: “for his eminently practical administration of the Inter-Parliamentary Union”
Prize share: 1/2
Inter-Parliamentarian and Organizer
Albert Gobat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize first and foremost for his efforts to bring popularly elected representatives from various countries together at meetings and congresses. His work as a national politician led him into international work for peace. Gobat participated in the Inter-Parliamentary Union from its beginnings in 1889. When the Inter-Parliamentary Bureau was established in Berne three years later, Gobat was chosen to be its Secretary-General. Unsalaried, he planned the conferences which the Union held each year, drew up the agendas, and drafted proposals for resolutions. He tried to set up inter-parliamentary groups in countries which had none, edited a periodical, and distributed literature about peace and arbitration.
Gobat took over as Secretary-General of the International Peace Bureau when Élie Ducommun died in 1906. This meant that he was at the same time heading the offices of both the inter-parliamentary and the popular peace movement. Gobat lived to see the International Peace Bureau honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for 1910.
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