Peace Scholar Post: “The Selection of the Peace Laureates” by Mirwais Wakil

The Selection of the Peace Laureates

Who is truly eligible to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and why?

I often wondered, as most people around the world who are not well informed about the selection procedure concerning the Nobel Peace Prize, how the laureates are actually chosen. I posed the very same question some days ago during our visit to the Nobel Institute Library, which is located at the heart of Oslo, across the street from the U.S Embassy. The library has been open to public since 1905 and contains over 200,000 volumes in the fields of peace, international law, international relations, political theory and more.

The head librarian, Bjørn Helge Vangen, explained that Alfred Nobel himself had given the ultimate power of the Peace Prize to the Norwegian parliament called “Stortinget”. The tradition is that a committee of five parliamentary members sit on the main committee who will make the final decision. It is important to note that advisors and Norwegian intellectuals and experts in the related fields cooperate and work for final reports of all nominees.

Apart from the five main committee members, intellectuals holding PHD’s in a peace-related fields as well as parliament members and ministers from other countries are eligible to enter an individual to the nomination procedure. Basically, this means that every country has the chance to select a few of their most heroic peace-active individuals. The head librarian of the Nobel Institute Library was defending the objective and fair position of the prize by explaining how it is not discriminative and a certain possibility for those who truly deserve it.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that the Nobel Peace Prize has become more international and is valued all over the world. The librarian meant the fame can be explained due to the fair procedure as well as the low percentage of mistakes made by the selection committee.


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