- BBC News World
The winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced this Friday. Will it cause as much controversy as some of the previous winners?
Considered one of the most prestigious awards in the world, the Nobel Peace Prize is one of six awards created by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish scientist, businessman and philanthropist.
But due to its political character, Peace has been embroiled in controversy far more often than the other five categories of Nobel Prize winners.
Next, six of the winners who awoke the most controversy and a great absentee in the list of winners.
Many people, including the laureate himself, were surprised when former US President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Prize.
Obama even wrote in his memoirs that his first reaction when he found out was to ask “why?”
He had only been president of the United States for nine months, and many critics called the awarding of such an important award premature. In fact, the deadline for submitting nominations had expired just 12 days after Obama was sworn in as president.
In 2015, the former director of the Noble Institute, Geir Lundestad, hinted in statements to the BBC that the committee that decided to award Obama repented after its decision.
In Obama’s eight years in the White House, American troops fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
The late Palestinian leader received the award in 1994 along with then-Israeli Prime Minister Isaac Rabin and his Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, in recognition of their work in achieving the Oslo Peace Accords, which in the 1990s they provided a window of hope for possible peace in the long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
The decision to reward Arafat, who had been involved in armed actions, drew criticism from Israel and other countries.
Indeed, Arafat’s election caused a stir within the very committee that elected him.
One of its members, the Norwegian politician Kare Kristiansen, resigned in protest.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Burmese politics won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for its non-violent struggle against the military government of its country.
But more than 20 years later, he came under strong criticism for failing to report the killings and human rights violations of the Muslim minority Rohingya in Myammar, which the United Nations classified as “genocide”.
There were even calls for her to be stripped of the award, but the rules did not allow it.
Ethiopia’s prime minister received the award in December 2020 for his efforts to resolve a long-standing border conflict with Eritrea.
But just over a year later, the decision to award him was shrouded in doubt.
Criticism of Ahmed’s decision to deploy troops to the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia was emerging in the international community.
The fighting there has left thousands of people dead and the UN described what happened as “devastating destruction”.
The late Kenyan activist became the first African woman to win the award in 2004.
But the decision began to be questioned when comments he had made about the AIDS virus emerged.
Mathai hinted that HIV had been artificially created as a biological weapon with which to destroy blacks.
There is no scientific evidence for this conspiracy theory.
In 1973, the then Secretary of State of the United States, Henry Kissinger, received the Nobel Peace Prize.
The award to a leader involved in some of the most controversial episodes of his country’s foreign policy, such as the secret bombings in Cambodia or support for military regimes in South America left many speechless.
Along with Kissinger, North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho was awarded for his role in negotiating a ceasefire in the Vietnam War.
Two members of the Nobel committee tendered their resignation, and the New York Times referred to the award as the War Nobel.
The never awarded: Gandhi
The Nobel Peace Prize winners are also famous for some notable absences in their record.
Perhaps the most notorious is that of Mahatma Gandhi.
Despite being nominated several times, the Indian politician, who became a symbol of the peace movement in the 20th century, never received the award.
In 2006, Norwegian historian Geir Lundestad, then chairman of the Nobel Committee, said that failure to recognize Gandhi’s achievements had been the biggest failure in the history of the Nobel Prize winners.
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6 of the most controversial Nobel Peace Prize winners in history (and a notable absent among the winners) – BBC News World