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Nobel Peace Prize Unveiled: A Comprehensive Guide to Honoring Peacemakers

10/6/20233 min read

At the Nobel Institute in Oslo, the Peace Prize on Friday is shrouded in anticipation, as it could be awarded to women's rights campaigners, climate activists, or international courts investigating war crimes. Experts suggest that the field is wide open, with the names of nominees carefully guarded. This year, 351 individuals and groups have been nominated.

The "Woman, Life, Freedom" uprising in Iran, triggered by the tragic death of a young Iranian Kurd in custody for violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women, has sparked discussions among Nobel watchers. They propose that the Nobel Peace Prize might be bestowed upon Iranian women who have been fighting tirelessly for their rights. Per Olav Odegard, an editorialist at the Norwegian tabloid VG, advocates for this cause, emphasizing the global significance of recognizing the struggle for women's rights as a foundation for peace and freedom.

Experts weigh the possibility that the five-member Nobel committee could shift their focus in this direction, potentially honoring jailed Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi. Her dedication to the cause of women's rights could be celebrated alongside the efforts of Afghanistan's Mahbouba Seraj, who has persistently campaigned for women's rights in a nation where the Taliban's resurgence has profoundly restricted the lives of women.

Furthermore, Iranian-American activist and journalist Masih Alinejad has gained attention for launching the movement "My Stealthy Freedom," which encourages Iranian women to protest against the mandatory hijab requirement. This bold initiative has resonated with many, symbolizing the resilience of Iranian women in their fight for freedom.

In the previous year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to noteworthy recipients, including the Russian human rights group Memorial, Ukraine's Center for Civil Liberties, and the imprisoned Belarusian rights advocate Ales Bialiatski. The selection of laureates is a testament to the Nobel Peace Prize's commitment to acknowledging and supporting those dedicated to human rights, peace, and freedom.

The spotlight on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's potential Nobel Peace Prize candidacy is undeniable this year, with online betting sites placing him at the forefront. However, seasoned Nobel observers are cautious, noting that it is improbable for the prize to be awarded to the leader of a nation embroiled in conflict. As a result, it is more likely that the Nobel Committee will explore other geographical regions or fields.

Amidst the Upcoming COP28 Climate Summit and a World Ablaze with Environmental Concerns, the Nobel Peace Prize May Find Its Calling in Movements like 'Fridays for Future' initiated by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Additionally, the commitment of Brazilian tribal leader Raoni Metuktire to combat deforestation and advocate for Indigenous rights has garnered attention as a potential Nobel cause.

Several prominent climate activists are also in the limelight, including Victoria Tauli-Corpuz from the Philippines, Juan Carlos Jintiach from Ecuador, and Uganda's Vanessa Nakate, reflecting the growing importance of climate advocacy.

In a year marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the prestigious award may shift its focus to institutions such as the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, underlining the enduring relevance of human rights advocacy.

Among the mentioned contenders are the UN refugee agency UNHCR, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and international legal bodies like the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Nobel Committee's history of surprising selections leaves room for speculation and anticipation.

The nomination process involves thousands of individuals worldwide, including members of parliament, cabinet ministers, former laureates, and select university professors, who can submit their recommendations before the January 31 deadline. Furthermore, the five Nobel Committee members themselves have the authority to nominate candidates during their initial meeting at the start of the year.

Reflecting on the Nobel Peace Prize's recent recipients, the list highlights the global significance of peace, human rights, and international cooperation. The prize has celebrated various causes, from nuclear disarmament to freedom of the press, emphasizing its enduring commitment to promoting peace and human rights on a global scale.