The Nobel Prizes is considered the highest intellectual honor in the world for people who made compelling paradigm shifts in the field of physics, literature, chemistry, medicine, peace and economics. While it is equally beyond belief to receive a Nobel Prize for any of these fields, the Nobel Peace Prize is the most desired, most popular and most anticipated of all categories.
So what does it take to win a Nobel Peace Prize? According to Alfred Nobel’s last will, which he signed on Nov. 27, 1985, the Peace Prize shall be dedicated to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. In 2013, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won the Peace Prize in 2013 for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. In 2012, the European Union nabbed the award for its more than six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. In 2011, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman jointly received the award for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work. In 2010, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.
In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee was questioned after it awarded the Peace Prize to President Barack Obama. The committee said Mr. Obama was deserving of the award for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The committee upheld that with Mr. Obama’s vision for a world free from nuclear arms, the U.S. has since played a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting.
According to the statues of the Nobel Foundation, all Nobel Peace awardees shall be nominated only by qualified organizations and persons. Nobody is allowed to nominate himself. The details of nominations are restricted and disclosure could only be made publicly or privately after 50 years. A nomination is valid only if it is submitted by a person who falls within one of the following categories: members of national assemblies and governments of states, members of international courts, members of Institut de Droit International, University rectors; professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes, persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, board members of organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, active and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.