Press release

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The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Peace Prize for 1982 to two persons who for many years have played a central role in the United Nations’ disarmament negotiations, namely, Alva Myrdal of Sweden and Alfonso García Robles of Mexico.

In the disarmament negotiations in Geneva and in many other international bodies, as well as in her writings, Alva Myrdal has made public opinion all over the world aware of the problems of armaments, and helped to arouse a general sense of responsibility for the development these involve.

García Robles has played a prominent part in the work of disarmament within the United Nations Organisation, both in Geneva and in UNO’s special disarmament sessions. In common with Alva Myrdal he has helped to open the eyes of the world to the threat mankind faces in continued nuclear armament. He was the driving force behind the agreement to declare Latin America a denuclearised zone, which was concluded in 1967.

Alfred Nobel’s will and testament states that the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person or persons who have made a special contribution to peace, disarmament and the brotherhood of mankind. In the opinion of the Nobel Committee this year’s laureates fulfil these conditions.

In today’s world the work to promote peace, disarmament and the brotherhood of mankind is carried on in various ways, and this year’s award focuses on two of them. There is the patient and meticulous work undertaken in international negotiations on mutual disarmament, and there is also the work of the numerous peace movements with their greater emphasis on influencing the climate of public opinion and the appeal to the emotions. Both these approaches are important, and, in the opinion of the Committee, this year’s prizewinners are worthy representatives of both.

The Committee is also convinced that it expresses the spirit of the two laureates in the hope that the award of the prize to Alva Myrdal and García Robles may be interpreted as a stimulus to the climate of peace that has emerged in recent years, first and foremost in the Western world, gradually surmounting boundaries and frontiers of so many kinds. If this climate of opinion is only allowed to gain in strength and vigour, surmounting still more boundaries, it might well provide our best hope that realistic and factual negotiations, culminating in mutual disarmament, may one day be crowned with success.

Oslo, October 13, 1982

From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1981-1990, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Irwin Abrams, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1997

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1982

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