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Nobel Peace Prize 2019: Will it be Greta - or will the Pope?


This year, Greta Thunberg is considered a hot candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. But: The competition is great - 222 more people and 78 groups may also make hopes. The favorites.

Believe the bookmakers, Greta Thunberg is set as a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Ever since the Swede, now 16, started her school strike in the summer of 2018, she has inspired millions of young people worldwide and started the climate change movement "Fridays for Future". However, it is not certain that she actually receives the most important political award in the world.

Together with Thunberg, 300 other candidates are on the list of nominees - the fourth highest value ever. According to the Nobel Committee, these include 222 individuals and 78 groups. Who exactly on the list is unknown. The committee is silent, as always.

Who can nominate individuals or organizations?

Those who were eligible to nominate - lawyers, academics, former winners - may publicly disclose the name of the person or organization they have proposed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been considered one of the favorites for many years, as has Pope Francis . And US President Donald Trump even put himself in the game as a possible winner. He asked Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a nomination in February. His wish was fulfilled.

For which performance is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded?

The Peace Award is the only one of the five Nobel Prizes to be awarded in Oslo, Norway, rather than Sweden's capital, Stockholm - as it does every year on 10 December, the day the founder Alfred Nobel died.

  • The Nobel Peace Prize is to be awarded to those who "have worked most or best for the fraternization of peoples, for the abolition or diminution of standing armies, and for the formation and spread of peace congresses".
  • Since 1960, the commitment to human rights has been honored.
  • And since 2004, the work for the environment is considered worthy of praise.

Most recently, the committee's decisions had often surprised and lesser-known candidates. Last year, the prize went to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazid activist Nadia Murad "for their efforts against sexual violence as a weapon in wars and armed conflicts." This Friday will be announced who will be honored this year. Five candidates are traded particularly high.

Greta Thunberg

The 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg is so omnipresent in the media that one might think that she has been at the center of the world public for years. In fact, the young Swede started her climate protest in front of the Reichstag in Stockholm less than 14 months ago.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

Greta Thunberg - Icon of the Climate Movement

Despite her age, Thunberg has become the biggest favorite for this year's Nobel Peace Prize with her message for a stronger commitment against the climate crisis.

She would be the youngest laureate in the history of the nobility. Prior to the announcement of the most prestigious political award in the world, she is considered by several scientists to be a narrower candidate circle, and several betting shops see her as a clear top candidate.

Abiy Ahmed

Besides Thunberg, another name is particularly common. "I think the committee will choose Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia," says Norwegian Nobel historian Asle Sveen. After many years of war, Abiy has signed a peace agreement with neighboring Eritrea and started a reform process. "That would be consistent with Alfred Nobel's will," says Sveen.

Tiksa Negeri / Reuters

Abiy Ahmed - Reformer in the old system

In his homeland Ahmed is regarded as a bearer of hope. Since taking office one and a half years ago, the head of government released thousands of dissidents and dismissed corrupt officials. He represents a new beginning after a long period of state terror.

But it is also true that the political star from the Oromo ethnic group still operates in the old system, constitutional reform has not existed in Ethiopia so far. He was appointed by the ruling since 1991 four-party dictatorship EPRDF to end mass protests of the population. However, the EPRDF itself and its repressive laws continue to exist.

Nathan Law

26-year-old Nathan Law is one of the leading figures in the pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong. The director of the Oslo Institute for Peace Research Prio, Henrik Urdal, considers him one of the top favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize. As a student representative, Law was one of the initiators of the 79-day umbrella movement in 2014, which campaigned in particular for a free direct election in the Chinese Special Administrative Region.

Michael Melia / AP

Nathan Law - fighting for the law in Hong Kong

In spring 2016, he founded the Demosisto party and fought for the independence of the former British colony of Hong Kong from the People's Republic of China. In the fall of the year, Law was elected to the City Parliament - as the youngest member of the panel's history.

When he took his oath, it came to a scandal. Although Law spoke the prescribed oath formula, in which all members of the People's Republic of China have to swear allegiance. Before that, however, he criticized the swearing-in as a "tool of authority for the suppression of public opinion." In 2017, Law was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for Umbrella Movement activities. He was also banned for five years from taking up political office.

Ilwad Elman

The Somali peace and human rights activist Ilwad Elman is also high on the list of favorites of the Oslo Institute for Peace Research Prio. Among other things, the 29-year-old supports and provides for young women who have been victims of violent sexual violence in the civil war country of Somalia. She works in the non-governmental organization Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, founded by her mother Fartuun Adan.

Thomas Trutschel / Photo Library / Getty Images

Ilwad Elman fights for women who have been victims of sexual violence in Somalia

Ilwad Elman's father died in the Somali civil war in 1996, after which the family initially emigrated to Canada. But in 2010, Ilwad Elman returned with her mother to work for peace in her homeland. In 2014, she received a scholarship from the US Department of State's Young African Leaders Initiative. It is also supported by the Foundation of the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

Hajar Sharif

Libya's 26-year-old peace and women's rights activist Hajar Sharif has another very young candidate among this year's favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize. Henrik Urdal from the Oslo Institute for Peace Research Prio believes that the involvement of young activists has become increasingly important in recent years. "Young people set the agenda for issues of critical importance to peace and security, both locally and globally."

Eric Roset / Extremely Together / Kofi Annan Foundation

Sharjar Sharif - fighting for a democratic Libya

Sharjar Sharif has also worked on this. During her law studies, she experienced the civil war in her home country of Libya in 2011 from close range. She founded her own organization called "Together We Build It", which is committed to democratic renewal in the North African country.

One of their main goals is to empower women and young people more in politics. Hajj Sharif was asked by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to help further the development of a United Nations resolution on women's rights.

Source: spiegel

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