The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize to Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union, for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community.
During the last few years, dramatic changes have taken place in the relationship between East and West. Confrontation has been replaced by negotiations. Old European nation states have regained their freedom. The arms race is slowing down and we see a definite and active process in the direction of arms control and disarmament. Several regional conflicts have been solved or have at least come closer to a solution. The UN is beginning to play the role which was originally planned for it in an international community governed by law.
These historic changes spring from several factors, but in 1990 the Nobel Committee wants to honor Mikhail Gorbachev for his many and decisive contributions. The greater openness he has brought about in Soviet society has also helped promote international trust.
In the opinion of the Committee, this peace process, which Gorbachev has contributed so significantly to, opens up new possibilities for the world community to solve its pressing problems across ideological, religious, historical and cultural dividing lines.
Oslo, October 15, 1990