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Statement by Ms Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of The Norwegian Nobel Committee, on the occasion of the Nobel Peace Prize Award Presentation 2020. Oslo, 10 December, 2020.

On this very special occasion I would like to thank you, Executive Director Beasley, and your colleagues for joining me from the World Food Programme’s headquarters in Rome.

I also offer my warmest congratulations to the World Food Programme on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020.

In his last will, Alfred Nobel stated that he wanted to establish five prizes as awards for those who have conferred the greatest benefit on humankind, in the fields of science, literature and peace.

Today, Nobel Prizes in all the disciplines referred to in Nobel’s will are being celebrated in Stockholm and Oslo, respectively.

Since 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize has been presented in Oslo on the 10th of December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. It is a grand event where we gather in Oslo City Hall. In a normal year, the City Hall would now have been filled to capacity, and you would have been greeted by the Norwegian Royal Family, the President of the Parliament, the Prime Minister and other official representatives of Norway. Equally important, you would have been hailed enthusiastically by the representatives of civil society. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was not possible to host you here in Oslo today. Instead, I am speaking to you from the Norwegian Nobel Institute, and you are at the WFP headquarters in Rome. We are together, despite the distance forced upon us by the pandemic.

Executive Director David Beasley, staff members, in Rome and around the world,

As announced on the 9th of October, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme …

“… for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”

We also believe that the World Food Programme, a United Nations humanitarian agency with global responsibility, represents exactly the kind of international cooperation and commitment that the world is in dire need of today.

Under normal circumstances I would have presented this award to you personally in the City Hall. At a later point – we hope next year – we will be honoured to welcome you to Oslo so that you may deliver the Nobel Lecture on behalf of the WFP. We will then have the opportunity to celebrate this year’s Peace Prize Laureate in the proper, customary way.

Since you cannot be here today, your Nobel Prize medal and diploma have been brought to Rome instead. On behalf of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, they will now be presented to you by Lisa Pelletti Clark, Co-President of the International Peace Bureau, which was the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1910.

Ms Lisa Clark, I give the floor to you.


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