Friday, February 18, 2005

 

Nobel Peace Prize nominations

Pope and Bono Among Nobel Peace Prize Nominees
By Inger Sethov, Reuters
Famous Nobel Nominees

OSLO (Feb. 17) - Pope John Paul and rock star Bono are among 166 nominees for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, with relief groups helping victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami among the favorites.

"We have received 166 nominations so far, of which 29 are organizations," the director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, told Reuters on Thursday. "The geographical scope is wide."

As usual, he declined to name any candidates for the prize, which last year went to Kenya's Wangari Maathai, the head of a tree-planting movement and the first environmentalist to win.

Some names have been made public or leaked privately by people nominating them. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was also among them.

But many Nobel watchers believe the 2005 award will go to an individual or a group involved with relief efforts after the devastating Dec. 26 tsunami, such as Save the Children or Oxfam.

Among other aid groups, the International Committee of the Red Cross has won the prize three times, in 1963, 1944 and 1917. Most recently, Medecins Sans Frontieres won in 1999.

The deadline for mailing nominations for the award, named after Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, passed on Feb. 1. Those who can make nominations include members of parliaments, former Nobel laureates and some university professors.

Rock Star or Sitarist?

The list of names is secret but some people publicize their suggestions for the 10 million Swedish crown -- $1.43 million -- prize, to be announced in October and awarded on Dec. 10.

The Nobel committee broadened its interpretation of peace last year by picking an environmentalist. Another unorthodox pick would be a musician, such as Bono, lead singer in Irish pop group U2, or Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar, also nominated.

In the more traditional anti-nuclear field of nominees, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is on the list this year -- on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The pope, nominated many times, is unlikely to win since the five-member awards committee is widely believed to object to his conservative moral teachings, like opposing birth control.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is nominated for his role in his country's peaceful "Orange Revolution," former Czech President Vaclav Havel is on the list as he has been several times before, and one group, "Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005," wants the prize split among 1,000 women around the world.

The number of nominations might rise with some arriving late even if they are postmarked by Feb. 1. Also, committee members can make nominations at their first meeting after the deadline.

Last year, a record 194 candidates were nominated.

02/17/05 10:28 ET

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