Questions and answers on the Nobel Peace Prize

Olav Njølstad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, answers.

When was the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded?
In 1901. The prize was shared between Henry Dunant of Switzerland, founder of the Red Cross, and the French parliamentarian and peace activist Frédéric Passy.

Who decides what individual/s and/or organisation/s that gets awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?
The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, an independent five-member body appointed by the Norwegian Parliament.

Is it possible to revoke a Nobel Peace Prize?
No. Neither Alfred Nobel’s will nor the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation mention any such possibility. None of the prize awarding committees in Stockholm and Oslo has ever considered to revoke a prize once awarded.

Do you ever reconsider a choice?
No. For the very same reasons referred to above. According to the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation, § 10, “No appeals may be made against the decision of a prize-awarding body with regard to the award of a prize”.

How do you look upon criticism of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates after they have been awarded?
This is something we try to follow closely; sometimes with great concern. However, as a matter of principle the Norwegian Nobel Committee never comment upon what the Peace Prize Laureates may say and do after they have been awarded the prize. The Committee’s mandate is restricted to evaluate the work and efforts of the nominated candidates up to the moment it is decided who shall be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for a given year.

To cite this section
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