Obama Accepts 2009 Nobel Prize as a "Call to Action"

Friday, October 09, 2009

President Barack Obama, 48, said that he was "both surprised and deeply humbled" when he learned that he had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize this morning.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Mr. Obama was awarded the award for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples," according to the Associated Press. The Nobel Committee cited Obama's outreach to the Muslim world and his attempts to curb nuclear proliferation as grounds for its decision.

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the committee said. "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."

President Obama will make a formal acceptance speech in December. But gave a statement on the award at the White House on Friday.

"I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations," Mr. Obama said.

"And I know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes," he continued. "And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century."

Mr. Obama was chosen from a group of 205 nominees, including Zimbabwe's prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai and a group of Chinese dissidents who have been long critical of China's communist regime. Mr. Obama was inaugurated as president less than two weeks before the nomination deadline for the award.

Obama will receive a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish kronor, or about $1.4 million.

He's the third U.S. president to be awarded the prize, the AP reported, after Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, Woodrow Wilson in 1919 and Jimmy Carter, who was awarded the prize after leaving office in 2002. Former Vice President Al Gore shared the 2007 prize with the U.N. panel on climate change.

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has honored men and women for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace, according to the Nobel Prize website. The foundations for the prize were laid in 1895 when Stockholm, Sweden native Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize.

More in:

Comments [4]

excelsior999 from Long Island City

Indeed, today there are two kinds of Nobel Peace Prizes -- achievement-based and "aspirational." This, however, is a deviation from the Nobel charter, which doesn't say that the prize can or should be awarded to someone who ASPIRES to do good things for peace. It says that the prize should go to the person "who shall have done" good works to promote peace. The choice of Mr. Obama as the winner may be an indication that the Nobel Committee has its own curious notion of Hope and Change. The members apparently HOPE that if they give the prize to someone they like who hasn't done anything yet for world peace, then maybe that person may actually CHANGE and do something to earn it. In other words, they now give out the award in advance. Clearly, they haven't learned their lesson after their baffling decision to give the Nobel Peace Prize to that murderous, embezzling clown Yasser Arafat. Don't be surprised if the next winner is Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the Castro brothers. The world has truly gone insane.

Oct. 09 2009 10:32 PM
Raoul Zumino from New York City

Two other notables:

1994 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

for his efforts to create peace in the Middle East.
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO
President of the Palestinian National Authority.

2. Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a member of the Swedish parliament in 1939.

When Obamas economic polities show complete economic meltdown, which shall reach the majority of persons, and persons react accordingly, it will be interesting to sjustify how destroying a nations economy promotes peace.

Oct. 09 2009 04:56 PM
Madeleine Dewar from United States

Finally our nation again stands for peace, diplomacy and concern for all peoples and nations, not just the rich and powerful who make money by war as Eisenhower warned us. I am so proud of our nation again.

Oct. 09 2009 04:05 PM
Shirley Zumino from Haverstraw, NY

This brings tears to my eyes. Maybe the world has been saved/

Oct. 09 2009 09:13 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Follow WQXR