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Nobel Peace Prize: Is this Greta Thunberg’s year?

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  • This yr’s laureate to be introduced on Oct. 8
  • Thunberg, Tsikhanouskaya, Navalny amongst nominees
  • Local weather, democracy amongst points prone to be addressed
  • Vault yields secrets and techniques of previous prizes

OSLO, Oct 1 (Reuters) – The Nobel Peace Prize will probably be introduced simply three weeks earlier than world leaders collect for a local weather summit that scientists say might decide the way forward for the planet, one cause why prize watchers say this might be the yr of Greta Thunberg.

The world’s most prestigious political accolade will probably be unveiled on Oct. 8. Whereas the winner typically appears a complete shock, those that comply with it carefully say one of the simplest ways to guess is to take a look at the worldwide points probably to be on the minds of the 5 committee members who select.

With the COP26 local weather summit set for the beginning of November in Scotland, that situation might be international warming. Scientists paint this summit because the final likelihood to set binding targets for reductions in greenhouse fuel emissions for the following decade, important if the world is to have hope of retaining temperature change beneath the 1.5 diploma Celsius goal to avert disaster.

That might level to Thunberg, the Swedish local weather activist, who at 18 can be the second youngest winner in historical past by a number of months, after Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai.

“The committee typically desires to ship a message. And this will probably be a powerful message to ship to COP26, which will probably be taking place between the announcement of the award and the ceremony,” Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute, informed Reuters.

One other huge situation the committee could wish to handle is democracy and free speech. That might imply an award for a press freedom group, such because the Committee to Shield Journalists or Reporters With out Borders, or for a distinguished political dissident, akin to exiled Belarus opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya or jailed Russian activist Alexei Navalny.

A win for a journalism advocacy group would resonate “with the massive debate concerning the significance of unbiased reporting and the preventing of pretend information for democratic governance,” mentioned Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Analysis Institute Oslo.

A Nobel for both Navalny or Tsikhanouskaya can be an echo of the Chilly Warfare, when peace and literature prizes had been bestowed on distinguished Soviet dissidents akin to Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Oddsmakers additionally tip teams such because the World Well being Group or the vaccine sharing physique COVAX, that are immediately concerned within the international battle towards COVID-19. However prize watchers say this might be much less seemingly than may be assumed: the committee already cited the pandemic response final yr, when it selected the U.N. World Meals Programme.

Whereas parliamentarians from any nation can nominate candidates for the prize, in recent times the winner has tended to be a nominee proposed by lawmakers from Norway, whose parliament appoints the prize committee.

Norwegian lawmakers surveyed by Reuters have included Thunberg, Navalny, Tsikhanouskaya and the WHO on their lists.


The committee’s full deliberations stay ceaselessly secret, with no minutes taken of discussions. However different paperwork, together with this yr’s full checklist of 329 nominees, are saved behind an alarmed door protected by a number of locks on the Norwegian Nobel Institute, to be made public in 50 years.

Contained in the vault, doc folders line the partitions: inexperienced for nominations, blue for correspondence.

It’s a trove for historians in search of to know how laureates emerge. The newest paperwork made public are concerning the 1971 prize, gained by Willy Brandt, chancellor of West Germany, for his strikes to scale back East-West pressure throughout the Chilly Warfare.

“The Europe you see at present is principally the legacy of these efforts,” librarian Bjoern Vangen informed Reuters.

The paperwork reveal that one of many important finalists Brandt beat out for the prize was French diplomat Jean Monnet, a founding father of the European Union. It will take one other 41 years for Monnet’s creation, the EU, to lastly win the prize in 2012.

Modifying by Peter Graff


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