This Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee will announce the name of the winner of the last of the Nobel Prize, the Peace Prize, in a markedly atypical year due to covid-19 in which the announcement will be made electronically.
A total of 318 candidates, 211 people and 107 organizations, are competing this year for the prestigious award that grants one million euros to the chosen one. Despite the fact that the nominations are secret for 50 years, those who propose the candidates have the possibility, if they wish, to freely publicize their choice. Of the many names that initially resonated, the pools are currently focusing on three candidates: the young activist against climate change. Greta Thunberg, the Russian opponent Alexei Navalny and the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom.
The award to be given this Friday aims to recognize “the person who has worked more or better in favor of brotherhood among nations, the abolition or reduction of raised armies and the celebration and promotion of peace agreements.” The winner is selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a 5-person council determined by the Norwegian Parliament. We review the favorites:
Young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, a prominent voice in the fight against climate change, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on several occasions for her ‘Fridays for Future’ initiative. Two summers ago, Thunberg began to strike every Friday and to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament to demand more effective measures against climate change. This is how the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement was born, the climate 15-M.
After his speech at the UN climate summit in Poland and at the Davos forum, he became an example for many young people in various countries, who have promoted similar initiatives. The award of the Nobel to Thunberg would be a recognition that climate action and a commitment to peace go “hand in hand”.
Russian opposition leader Alekséi Navalny has been another of the names with the most options to win the award after his recent poisoning. Navalny entered Russian politics in 2008 when he began blogging about alleged malpractices and corruption in some of the large state-controlled corporations and has since suffered several attacks on his physical integrity as well as imprisonment. His name gained traction for this well-known award this summer, after being poisoned with Novichok in the Russian city of Tomsk, in Siberia, from which he took a flight to Moscow.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected Director-General of WHO for a five-year term last May 2017, and during his tenure as the organization, he has faced the largest global health crisis in recent history, the covid-19. The fight against the pandemic and the worldwide coordination of the response have earned the first African president of the WHO a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.