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Last Updated: 10/14/2008
Nobel Committee's choice again a scandal
Jan Oberg

Key words: Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel peace prize, Al Gore, Norway, Kosovo, peace

The choice of Martti Ahtisaari satisfies - even with a broad interpretation - none of the criteria outlined in Alfred Nobel's will, namely: to contribute to fraternity in the world, to reduce armies and to establish peace congresses - to quote them in Nobel's own language of 1895.

Ahtisaari has repeatedly functioned as "peace fixer" for Western power elites. In 1999 he was the envoy who persuaded the Serb state to give in after NATO's 78 days of bombing, the most brutal event in Europe since 1945, which also lacked a UN Security Council mandate.

He then was appointed as the "architect" of the plan behind the separation of now "independent" Kosovo which, following this bombing, broke off from Serbia. Independent Kosovo is recognized by only 25% of the world's governments.

So, Ahtisaari is a man who by his "mediations" fully endorses the "peace" brought about by militarist means and international law violations - rather than following the UN norm of "peace by peaceful means."

The Nobel Committee should, according to Nobel’s will, not necessarily consist of Norwegian parliamentarians. Nobel only stated that those who decided on the Prize should be appointed by the Norwegian Parliament.

Would anyone dream of letting a group of parliamentarians anywhere award the prize in, say, medicine, physics or literature without having the slightest knowledge of the subject or professional background? Yet this is exactly what the Nobel Committee does. None of them have any professional knowledge about the subject of peace.

The Committee has again rewarded one of its politician friends – instead of one of the independent candidates of this year, who have truly contributed intellectually, culturally or people-to-people wise to genuine peace.

This is a scandal - one more after Al Gore last year.

Those of us who wish for a genuinely peaceful world are being deprived once again of our most important Prize with this year's decision.

More about how Alfred Nobel's will is being circumvented here.

[JO # 1230]

Jan Olberg, Ph.D. is director and co-founder of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF). Much more of his work is available at