- Title: A Nobel for Sweden's Greta Thunberg? A tough decision for prize committee
- Date: 25th September 2019
- Summary: OSLO, NORWAY (SEPTEMBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCH DIRECTOR AT THE PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE, HENRIK URDAL, SAYING: "I think there is a very open field. This year we have 301 candidates, nominations and no real front runners. My personal favourites are the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed - he has reached a peace agreement with the neighbour, Eritrea. He's also invited a lot of the internal opposition groups to peaceful talks so I think that he would be an interesting candidate even though he's still struggling to achieve democratic reforms in his own country Ethiopia. And then, I think one of the other major issues of our time is of course refugees and refugee protection and the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and the High Commissioner for Refugees is one obvious candidate, and a third field which may also be worthy of a prize is press freedom and the importance of reporters in a word of increasing fake news." URDAL SEATED AT HIS DESK
- Embargoed: 9th October 2019 12:07
- Keywords: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed conflict Peace Research Institute RSF peace Greta Thunberg Nobel Committee refugees press freedom environment Nobel peace prize Reporters without borders analyst climate UNHCR
- Location: OSLO, NORWAY / STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN / ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA / HODEIDAH, YEMEN / PARIS, FRANCE
- City: OSLO, NORWAY / STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN / ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA / HODEIDAH, YEMEN / PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: Norway
- Topics: Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA005AY5P2YV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg's shaming of world leaders and air travellers over climate change has won her millions of admirers and attracted many new followers to her cause. But it just might cost her the Nobel Peace Prize.
Thunberg, one of few people whose nomination has become known before the awards ceremony, is the bookmakers' favourite to win the prize next month.
At 16, she would be the youngest recipient of the 930,000 U.S. dollar award won by the likes of Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev. She would be the first to win the prize for environmental work since former U.S. vice president Al Gore shared it in 2007 for raising awareness of climate change.
But Thunberg's youth, outspokenness and confrontational approach - the very factors that have made her the global face of climate change activism and a prize contender - present challenging questions for the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
With expectations of Nobel Prize winners so high, the committee will also consider Thunberg's age and how a teenager would cope with the burden of the public spotlight that comes with the peace prize, Research Director at the Peace Research Institute (PRIO), Henrik Urdal, said.
Five years ago, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai won the award at the age of 17, but her candidacy was less divisive than Thunberg's.
Also possibly counting against Thunberg is a debate in academic circles about whether environmental activism counts towards peace, as defined in Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's will, even though Gore shared his award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Apart from Thunberg, other leading possible contenders for the award include Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for the reconciliation he forged in 2018 with Eritrea and Reporters Without Borders, or the Committee to Protect Journalists, groups that campaign for freedom of the press.
The United Nations Refugee Agency and its head Filippo Grandi could also be named in recognition of their work towards refugees and as a way to highlight the right to asylum.
(Production: Gwladys Fouche, Ilze Filks)
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