The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in Norway on Friday. The award comes in the wake of the most violent conflict in Europe in over seven decades, between Ukraine and Russia.
Because both nations continue to put pressure on each other, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is one of the most crucial and challenging. As a result, the Norwegian committee struggled to choose the recipient of one of the world’s most prestigious prizes.
Receiving a Nobel Prize, especially during turbulent times, is a huge responsibility because it represents optimism and strength in the face of uncertainty. However, experts stated that the Nobel Peace Prize would be difficult to give owing to a number of circumstances.
Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said, “Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there are so many possible candidates.”
“This year, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there’s so little good that is happening in the world of peace and security.”
Naturally, the Nobel Prize is quite unexpected, and it might be awarded to anyone. As a result, the screening committee that screens contenders for the award is kept confidential. Of course, specialists in peace and security have candidates in mind, but even they are dubious because the selection committee’s thought process is kept secret.
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The war’s effects
No contender earned the Nobel Peace Prize during the First and Second World Wars. There have also been cases where the prize was not honored at all. However, traditionally, the Nobel Prize was awarded when there was little optimism or when the effects of conflict struck many nations.
And, given the present geopolitical situation in Europe, the individuals who decide who receives the medal will be making a critical decision. The reward will represent peacemaking and, as such, will weigh heavily on their thoughts.
Several specialists are also interested in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). Both have made a substantial contribution to the relief of individuals in need. However, Volodymyr is a figurehead who protects his people against Russian invasions, whereas the commissioner is someone who has assisted displaced people as a result of the conflict.
“Zelensky is a war leader, and what is happening at the moment is war. You can admire or not admire the action he’s undertaking, but it’s about war and the armed defense of his country. That’s a fact that should be respected in and of itself,” added Smith.
“Hopefully, the war will come to an end, and they will make peace. If Zelensky or somebody else can contribute to making that peace, then there will be time to acknowledge that enormous achievement.”
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Russian critics could be honored with the prize
With the growing condemnation of Russia’s cruel treatment of its smaller neighbor, analysts anticipate that critics of Putin’s dictatorship may be in line for the Nobel Peace Prize. Alexey Navalny, for example, has subsequently spoken out against Russia’s actions and war against Ukraine. Navalny was imprisoned as a result of it. He was poisoned in 2020, and Navalny boldly blamed the Russian government.
“Navalny, I think, is heroic, (but) he’s a political leader. It’s a prize that is to be awarded not for how great you are but for how great the things you’ve done are,” said Smith.
Another candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize is Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a Belarus opposition leader who campaigned against Putin’s close supporter.
“Both Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny are vocal critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A shared Nobel Peace Prize between them would be seen as a clear protest of the Russian aggression and the assistance by Belarus, and as support of democratic and non-violent alternatives to Lukashenko and Putin.”
Photo Credit: Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien
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