Obama 'surprised and humbled' by honour

Jimmy Carter

In his remarks at the White House, he said: “Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this morning.

After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, “Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo’s birthday.”

And then Sasha added, “Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up.”
So it’s — it’s good to have kids to keep things in perspective.
I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee.
Let me be clear, I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honoured by this prize, men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.
And I know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honour specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. Challenges can’t be met by any one leader or any one nation. And that’s why my administration’s worked to establish a new era of engagement in which all nations must take responsibility for the world we seek.

We cannot tolerate a world in which nuclear weapons spread to more nations and in which the terror of a nuclear holocaust endangers more people.
We cannot accept the growing threat posed by climate change, which could forever damage the world that we pass on to our children, sowing conflict and famine, destroying coastlines and emptying cities.

Differences
We can’t allow the differences between peoples to define the way that we see one another. And that’s why we must pursue a new beginning among people of different faiths and races and religions, one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect. We can’t accept a world in which more people are denied opportunity and dignity that all people yearn for: the ability to get an education and make a decent living, the security that you won’t have to live in fear of disease or violence without hope for the future.
This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration; it’s about the courageous efforts of people around the world.

And that’s why this award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity; for the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard, even in the face of beatings and bullets; for the leader imprisoned in her own home because she refuses to abandon her commitment to democracy; for the soldier who sacrificed through tour after tour of duty on behalf of someone half a world away; and for all those men and women across the world who sacrifice their safety and their freedom and sometime their lives for the cause of peace. “

* Jimmy Carter won in 2002 as ex-president for what the Nobel prize committee said were "his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development".

* Woodrow Wilson won the 1919 prize in recognition of his Fourteen Points peace programme and work in achieving inclusion of the Covenant of the League of Nations in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War One. "The President succeeded in bringing a design for a fundamental law of humanity into present-day international politics," the Nobel Committee said.

* Theodore Roosevelt won the 1906 prize for his role in ending the bloody 1905 war between two of the world's great powers, Japan and Russia. The result was the Treaty of Portsmouth signed by Russia and Japan on Sept. 5, 1905, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

10 winners in past decade
2009 - President Barack Obama for efforts to strengthen
international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.
2008 - Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari for peacework from Namibia to Kosovo.
2007 - Former US Vice-President Al Gore and the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
2006 - Muhammad Yunus and Bangladesh's Grameen Bank for work to end poverty.
2005 - The International Atomic Energy Agency and its head Mohamed ElBaradei.
2004 - Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai.
2003 - Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi.
2002 - Former US president Jimmy Carter.
2001 - The UN and Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
2000 - South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.

Sideshow
* The 2009 winner was selected from a record 205 nominees.
* Mother Teresa refused to attend a Nobel dinner in Oslo when she went to collect her prize in 1979, saying the money would be better spent on the poor. The banquet was cancelled.
* The International Committee of the Red Cross is the most successful winner, with prizes in 1917, 1944 and 1963. Red Cross founder
Henri Dunant of Switzerland shared the first award in
1901.
The most controversial
* Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for brokering an
unsuccessful deal to end the Vietnam war in 1973
* Past nominees have included Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
* Hitler banned Germans from accepting Nobel prizes in disgust after the 1935 award went to pacifist anti-Nazi writer Carl von
Ossietzky.

Nobel citation
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the UN and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.

The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the US is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting.

Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened. 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. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

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