The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2001, in two equal portions, to the United Nations (U.N.) and to its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.
For one hundred years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to strengthen organized cooperation between states. The end of the cold war has at last made it possible for the U.N. to perform more fully the part it was originally intended to play. Today the organization is at the forefront of efforts to achieve peace and security in the world, and of the international mobilization aimed at meeting the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges.
Kofi Annan has devoted almost his entire working life to the U.N. As Secretary-General, he has been pre-eminent in bringing new life to the organization. While clearly underlining the U.N.’s traditional responsibility for peace and security, he has also emphasized its obligations with regard to human rights. He has risen to such new challenges as HIV/AIDS and international terrorism, and brought about more efficient utilization of the U.N.’s modest resources. In an organization that can hardly become more than its members permit, he has made clear that sovereignty can not be a shield behind which member states conceal their violations.
The U.N. has in its history achieved many successes, and suffered many setbacks. Through this first Peace Prize to the U.N. as such, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes in its centenary year to proclaim that the only negotiable route to global peace and cooperation goes by way of the United Nations.
Oslo, 12 October, 2001