Friday, October 9, 2009
President Obama on Friday won the Nobel Peace Prize, a stunning choice of a newly elected official who had been in office for less than two weeks before this year's nomination deadline.
Obama won the prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced, saying it had "attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons."
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. "In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations."
He added that the committee endorsed "Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.'"
The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's prize though it was not immediately apparent who nominated Obama.
"The exciting and important thing about this prize is that it's given too someone ... who has the power to contribute to peace," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.