‘A new climate in international politics’

The following statement was issued by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

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. 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.


For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

Oslo, Oct. 9, 2009




Nobel Peace Prize recipients since 1970

2009 Barack Obama

2008 Martti Ahtisaari

2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore


2006 Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank

2005 International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei

2004 Wangari Maathai

2003 Shirin Ebadi


2002 Jimmy Carter

2001 United Nations, Kofi Annan

2000 Kim Dae-jung

1999 Doctors Without Borders


1998 John Hume, David Trimble

1997 International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Jody Williams

1996 Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, Jose Ramos-Horta

1995 Joseph Rotblat, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs


1994 Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin

1993 Nelson Mandela, Frederik W. de Klerk

1992 Rigoberta Menchú Tum

1991 Aung San Suu Kyi


1990 Mikhail Gorbachev

1989 The 14th Dalai Lama

1988 United Nations Peacekeeping Forces

1987 Oscar Arias Sanchez


1986 Elie Wiesel

1985 International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

1984 Desmond Tutu

1983 Lech Walesa


1982 Alva Myrdal,

1981 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

1980 Adolfo Perez Esquivel

1979 Mother Teresa


1978 Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin

1977 Amnesty International

1976 Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan

1975 Andrei Sakharov


1974 , Eisaku Sato

1973 Henry Kissinger, Le Duc Tho

1972 No award; prize money is allocated to the main fund

1971 Willy Brandt


1970 Norman Borlaug

Source: Nobel Foundation