Receiving the Nobel Peace prize is a life-changing award. Alfred Nobel said that it should be given those who “shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind”, and while Greta Thunberg’s is an undeniable force and her movement much appreciated and noted, she has not generated a direct benefit on a global level that advances mankind in any way. Perhaps she will accomplish wonderful things throughout her lifetime but as of now, she does not merit this award.
Here is the list so far of the nominations for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Greta Thunberg has been nominated for her mass movement advocating climate change and while her efforts to date are outstanding, she does not measure up to her fellow nominees. Someone like Loujain-al-Hathlou, a prominent Saudi human rights activist who is currently suffering in prison for her cause, is much more deserving than the sixteen-year-old rebel climate activist from Sweden. So is Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia who took steps to formally end the conflict with Eritrea, signing a “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship” on 9 July 2018. Abiy has engaged in dialogue with the many armed, regional Ethiopian opposition groups, succeeding in persuading the Oromo Liberation Front to commit to peaceful participation in the political process.
The UNHCR and High Commissioner Filippo Grandi are other nominees that are far more deserving than Greta; the UNHCR has shown its capacity and integrity in standing up for refugees’ rights and needs time and time again. They are working tirelessly to mend the consequences of war in major conflict theaters such as Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan. Filippo Grandi, who has decades of experience working with refugees, including as the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), has used his office to speak out for the Rohingyas in the Rakhine province in Myanmar, urging the de facto head of state in Myanmar, Aung-San Suu Kyi, to act on the situation.
Lastly I want to highlight the The Arctic Council who focuses on environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic. Though the council’s guidelines and recommendations are non-binding, it represents an important meeting point for Arctic states and Arctic indigenous groups in matters pertaining to the sustainable use of resources in the region. Facilitating regional cooperation and coordination based on the exchange of scientific evidence, the organization remains an important arena for collaboration between Russia, the US, and other Western states at a time when relations between them have become increasingly strained.
I also believe that it is time to grant the reporting community a Nobel Peace Prize. Organizations such as Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are wholly dedicated to preserve media freedom and freedom of expression by protecting journalists and highlighting injustices and threats toward them. Reporters all over the world are putting their own safety at risk to provide information from the most devastating conflicts and repressive regimes. A prize emphasizing the importance of providing reliable information from theaters of conflict around the world would be a prize to acknowledge the importance of independent information gathering in enabling governments to make good decisions in crises and conflicts.
Below list of 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominations:
- Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed, nominated by a Norwegian associate professor of social sciences, as well as by Swedish MP, Anders Österberg.
- Bill Richardson, veteran US diplomat, nominated by a group of Democrat politicians for his diplomatic work securing the release of political prisoners in North Korea.
- Tong Zeng, advocate for wartime compensation from Japanese companies for forced labor during WW2, nominated by a Russian professor of history, as well as by a group of twelve professors of law and history at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Peking University.
- Chef José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen, nominated by US Congressman John Delaney .
- Macedonian and Greek Prime Ministers Zoran Zaevand Alexis Tsipras, nominated for their signing of the Prespa Agreement, by 2015 Peace Prize laureate Ouided Bouchamaoui and supported by Members of the European Parliament .
- Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, nominated by 1976 Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire .
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, nominated by Norwegian MPs representing Socialist Left .
- Irwin Cotler, law professor, human rights lawyer and former Canadian MP and minister, nominated by former Prime Minister of Canada Paul Lewis [however, as above, nomination eligibility applies to those currently in office].
- Osman Kavala, Turkish philanthropist, is possibly nominated by a group of academics and human rights defenders.
- Anna Tuv, possibly nominated for her efforts to bring attention to and end the conflict in Donbass.
- Jerzy Owsiak, creator of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, possibly nominated, but unclear if by or supported by eligible nominator.
- Muhammadiyahand Nahdlatul Ulama, Islamic Civil organizations in Indonesia, to be nominated according to this website .
- Loujain al-Hathloul, Saudi Arabian activist, nominated by a group of Norwegian and Canadian politicians for her campaigning against gender inequality in Saudi Arabia.
- Ukrainian film-maker Oleg Sentsov, nominated by 1983 Peace Prize laureate , Lech Wałęsa, for his campaigning against the Russian annexation of Crimea.
- Chinese academic Ilham Tohti, currently incarcerated, nominated by a group of US politicians for his advocacy for the rights of the Muslim Uyghur ethnic group in China.
- Angela Gui, daughter of the imprisoned Swedish-Chinese publisher Gui Minhai, nominated by a Swedish politician for her efforts to bring about her father’s release.
- Turkish-Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaşnominated for challenging Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime.
- Mimmo Lucano, former mayor of Riace, nominated for promoting the inclusion of immigrants and refugees, in opposition to Italy’s current populist government.
- Local fishermen in Kerala, nominated by an Indian politician for their contribution to the aid effort during last year’s major floods.
- Lula de Silva, the imprisoned former Brazilian president, nominated by 1980 Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel .
- Professors Ikuro Anzai and Klaus Schlichtmann, as well as the SA9 campaign, nominated by Norwegian law professors Terje Einarsen and Aslak Syse, for promoting the second paragraph of article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, and seeking its adoption worldwide. Schlichtmann has also been nominated by professors Teruhisa Horio, Kazuko Shiojiri, Shin Nomoto and Kathy R. Matsui, who have in addition nominated the Article 9 Association (A9A).
- Benjamin Ferencz, former prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials and peace activist, nominated by Professor Hope May for his lifelong campaigning against wars of aggression.
- Coalition for the International Criminal Court and CICC general secretary Bill Pace, nominated by Norwegian law professors Terje Einarsen and Aslak Syse.
- Daniel Ellsberg, nominated by Norwegian MP Marit Arnstad for his promotion of whistle-blowing and lifelong criticism of state secrecy.
- US legal scholarRichard Falk, nominated by Jan Oberg and Prof. Farzeen Nasri for his academic and political work on global governance and democracy.
- International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), nominated by Norwegian law professor Alf Petter Høgberg .
- David Krieger and Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), nominated by Prof. Jack Kultgen .
- Mayors for Peace, nominated by Prof. Lawrence S. Wittner for campaigning for the global elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Jan Oberg, director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, nominated by Danish MP Christian Juhl for the TFF’s contribution to the humanitarian effort in Burundi.
- Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), nominated by Professors Aytuğ Atıcı and Kristian Andenæs and Dr. Marouf Bakhit .
- WhistleblowerEdward Joseph Snowden, nominated by Swedish MPs for fostering an open and democratic debate on state surveillance and cyberwarfare.
- US activist and authorDavid Swanson, nominated by Prof. Jeff Backman for his advocacy for the abolition of war.