On Friday, the Nobel committee in Oslo, Norway, will announce the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the individual or organisation that the committee believes has done the most to promote world peace.
President Trump is convinced that he’s in the running, but he also can’t spell ‘hamburger’ and thinks windmills cause cancer, so we’ll chalk that up to just another day in the White House.
Trump announced his Nobel worthiness in response to Greta Thunberg’s suspected nomination.
According to TIME, there are 301 nominees this year – 223 individuals and 78 are organisations.
The official list of nominees is secret, but here are the favourites for the prize this year.
Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist, is a firm favourite this year.
Thunberg, who featured on a recent cover of TIME magazine, has become famous for her speeches and protests over climate inaction. At 15 years old, she began her school strike outside the Swedish Parliament in August 2018. Little more than a year later, an estimated four million people joined the teenager in a global strike on Sept. 20 — with activists, many of them schoolchildren, joining the protests from Thailand to Afghanistan to Haiti.
She also, now famously, gave an emotional speech at the Climate Action Summit where she condemned world leaders for their lack of action in halting climate change.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made headlines last year after actively ending 20 years of conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
War between the two countries began over border disputes in 1998, five years after Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia. At least 70,000 people were killed before the two sides signed a peace deal in December 2000 — but tensions have remained high as Ethiopia refused to accept the border.
Ahmed freed political prisoners and signed a peace agreement with Eritrean Isaias Afwerki. He’s also championed the role of women in politics, appointing women to half of the government’s 20 ministerial posts.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s is nominated because of her response to the Christchurch attacks, where mass shootings at two mosques this year left 51 people dead and dozens injured.
Arden has been swift to react — less than a month after the attacks, New Zealand’s parliament voted 119 to one to pass gun control legislation outlawing most automatic and semi-automatic weapons as well as components that modify existing weapons. Ardern, the world’s youngest female leader at 38 years old, has also been vocal in her determination to deny the gunman a platform to elevate his white supremacist views, famously saying: “You will never hear me speak his name.”
If she wins, she will be the first New Zealander to take the prize.
Brazilian indigenous chief Raoni Metuktire has dedicated his life to protecting the Amazon rainforest.
Metuktire, 89, traveled to the 2019 G7 Summit in August this year to discuss the Amazon with world leaders, after a surge in fires destroyed large parts of the rainforest. Metuktire has been critical of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and his exploitation of the Amazon. Since his inauguration in January this year, the rate of deforestation has soared by up to 92% according to satellite images.
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is an international group that looks out for the rights and freedoms of the press on a global scale.
The organization has spoken out against Saudi Arabia after newspaper columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder by Saudi operatives inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct., 2 last year. If Reporters Without Borders won, they would be the first organization promoting independent reporting and press freedom to win the Peace Prize.
You can’t argue with the importance of independent reporting and press freedom.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The refugee agency was set up after the Second World War to aid people escaping war and persecution across the world.
Its office has received two Nobel Peace Prizes in 1954 and 1984, and a prize now would be timely. In July this year, the UNHCR publicly stated its concern about the Trump administration’s new rule barring the majority of people crossing the southern U.S. land border from seeking asylum.
While all of these look like ideal candidates for the prize, there’s no way of knowing who the committee will select.
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