Friday, October 09, 2009

President Barack Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize today for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,". The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited President Obama's outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation as a primary consideration for their selection .

Presiedent Obama is now the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. President Theodore Roosevelt won the award in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson won in 1919. After leaving his own presidency, former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, also won the Peace Prize in 2002 and of course, in 2007, the award went to Al Gore, for his extraordinary efforts to raise awareness about global warming.

The Nobel committee praised Obama's creation of a new climate in international politics and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage.

Rather than simply recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize intended to support initiative: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations, and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.

"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," Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. "In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations."

He added that the committee endorsed President Obama's call to the world: 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Shown above:

Work by Susan Shie, titled "Treasure Map":President Obama: A Celebration in Art Quilts