Nobel Peace Prize has many a time sparked controversies and allegations.
This year, the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee is relatively, better. The peace prize for this year was awarded to the group International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), an international coalition of NGOs working towards a ban on nuclear weapons. The Nobel committee chose the organization that includes groups in more than a hundred nations, for its work to draw global attention to the ‘catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition on such weapons’. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General Mohammed ElBaradei was earlier awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes.
While the world have reached prohibitions on chemical and biological weapons, land mines and cluster munitions, it should be willing to eliminate an ‘even more destructive’ nuclear weapons. Beyond its use as a deterrent to stop the opponents, nuclear arms today are considered as weapons to be put to use against enemies. The belligerent rhetoric by the US and North Korea at the UN global peace platform had triggered apprehensions across the world. The conflicts between the nuclear powers of India and Pakistan as well as the supremacy of Israel are believed to likely pave way for the use of nuclear weapons. There are countries that have signed as well as those that didn’t sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, possessing nuclear weapons. That is where the relevance of the intervention of organisations like ‘I CAN’ lies. It’s due to their efforts that the 122 member countries of the UN agreed to a ban on nuclear weapons in July this year. The international ban will come into effect officially with fifty nations confirming the deal. Although the lunatic countries cannot be expected to give up the use of nuclear bombs, getting nuclear weapons included in the prohibited list is no small matter.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was earlier given the Nobel Peace Prize. The incident is a shame for those who awarded her the prestigious prize. The world that witnesses the merciless approach of the Myanmar government towards the Rohingya community and Suu Kyi’s statement favouring the ‘ethnic cleansing’ as well as the widespread influx of refugees, naturally questions the Nobel Peace Prize given to Suu Kyi. The allegations that the choices of the Nobel Committee is based mostly on the political considerations and other vested interests is also not baseless. Even the irony in awarding the Peace Prize to warmongers and extremists have been ignored.
Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres who shared the prize with Palestine leader Yasser Arafat received the award for the Oslo Accord. They and their successors proved their ‘eligibility’ by using the deal as a weapon and carrying out more brutal invasions. Menachem Begin, former Israeli Prime Minister who was a Nobel Laureate attacked Lebanon four years after he received the prize. Barack Obama who is usually soft-spoken, sent more army troops to Afghanistan within months of receiving the award. He admitted his doings with an apologizing tone during his acceptance speech. The Peace Prize given to US diplomat Henry Kissinger for achieving peace in Vietnam was also least deserved. Not only had peace been achieved, Le Duc Tho (North Vietnam) who was jointly awarded the prize refused to accept it due to the US action of destroying peace in Vietnam.
The general attitude created is what makes the Nobel Peace Prize significant than the eligibility of the Nobel laureates. The demand for taking back after 26 years, the prize truly deserved by Suu Kyi in 1991, is certainly due to the awareness about the value of the Peace Prize. The letter written to Suu Kyi by the Nobel Laureates is a reflection of the same attitude. The Nobel Peace Prize was recognized for being a symbol of humanity’s earnest desire for peace, despite whatever controversies surface. And an ethical aspect that exists in the world about the Prize is more focused on what all a winner should be, not on what a winner is. It is that ethics that strengthen and motivate efforts for peace across the world.