Nobel peace prize predictions abound, but no clear favourite

Donald Trump? Hardly. Reconciliation between the Koreas? Rather premature. Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea? Probably missed the deadline. As the 2018 Nobel peace prize looms, it's easier to rule out names than guess who's going to win.

This year the field of possibilities facing the five members of theNorwegian committee tasked with awarding the prize was pretty wide, with 331individuals and organisations proposed for the prestigious prize, which willbe announced on Friday in Oslo.

And, as usual, despite the fact the list of candidates is a secret,predictions about who might win are gathering pace.

With the postponement of this year's Literature Prize for the first time in70 years over a #MeToo scandal at the Swedish Academy, Friday's peace awardhas become the most highly anticipated Nobel announcement this year.

Looking at the odds on some of the online betting sites, you might thinkNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-inwere the front-runners for their efforts at rapprochement between the two nations.

But the Nobel experts -- who are more often than not wrong -- arescratching their heads.

"On the one hand, the inter-Korean breakthrough is I think the mostdramatic thing in this field this year," said Dan Smith, head of the StockholmInternational Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

"On the other hand I wonder whether it would be premature to be giving theprize on that basis this year."

Apart from anything else, Kim's record on human rights hardly stands in hisfavour.

Trump? 'Inappropriate'

Could Moon get it on his own?

"(He) did well, with the peace-promoting use of the (Winter) Olympic Games"in Pyeongchang, said Peter Wallensteen, a Swedish professor who specialises ininternational relations.

But what of Trump? Certain international figures like Britain's BorisJohnson, when he was foreign minister, and even Moon himself have suggestedthe US leader could win the prize for his initiatives on the Korean peninsula.

At 7-1, the bombastic American president is one of three frontrunnersflagged by online bookies Betsson, far ahead of other global figures likeFrance's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and Russia's Vladimir Putinall with odds of 75-1.

Such a prize would be "inappropriate," said Smith, pointing to a string ofdecisions by Trump which "are very negative as far as peace is concerned",most notably withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran nucleardeal.

And in any case, the only known Trump nomination submitted to the Nobelcommittee was fake, filed by someone suspected of identity fraud as onlycertain individuals are allowed to propose names.

The nascent reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea has also fuelledhope that a durable peace can be reached between the two neighbouringcountries after 20 years of war.

For Wallensteen, the peace prize could go to Ethiopian Prime Minister, AbiyAhmed. But he only took power in April with his peace overtures coming tofruition this summer.

That is a little late for the Nobel committee, which takes nominations atthe start of the year.

Fighting sexual violence

Given the lack of certainty and the limited scope of progress onpotentially prize-winning initiatives, some observers are turning to somelonger-term contenders.

With the #MeToo movement raising global awareness about sexual abuse andharassment, the award could honour those engaged in the fight against sexualviolence, such as Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege or Yazidi rape victimNadia Murad.

Nominated many times in the past, Mukwege has spent two decades helpingwomen recover from the violence and trauma of rape in war-torn easternDemocratic Republic of Congo, while Murad became an activist after being kidnapped by Islamic State group militants and held as a sex slave.

Henrik Urdal, head of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (Prio), believes the award could go to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), which feedsmillions of starving people every year.

From the battlefields of Yemen to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh,"we are seeing now that hunger is becoming again one of the biggerhumanitarian challenges of our time," he said.

Other potential laureates include the UN refugee agency UNHCR, jailed Saudiblogger Raif Badawi, organisations defending the media such as ReportersWithout Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists (RSF) and Russianhuman rights champions like the NGO Memorial and opposition newspaper NovayaGazeta.

With everything up in the air, the verdict will only be known on Friday at11:00 am (0900 GMT).

Read more news of Oslo on our site.
Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Over 334,000 people were paid disability insurance at the end of September.This is an increase of 2,100 people, but the proportion of social security payments remains stable.   This is shown in figures for the third quarter from Nav.A total of 9.8% of the population aged 18 to 67 years old are disabled. This is the same share as at the end of the second quarter. There has been an increase in all counties in the past year,except in Troms, which has had a de...
Eastern Norway gained more rain over the weekend than the total in June and July Throughout June and July, a total of 78.1 millimetres of rain fell on Tryvannshøgda in Oslo. On Saturday and Sunday, 98.2 millimetres were measured.   The contrasts were shown in the years rainfall in Norway. “In summer, less rain fell than normal, while both Saturday and Sunday were on the top five list of wet November days since the Meteorological Institute started measureme...
43,000 more people earning wages in Norway In the third quarter of this year, there were almost 2.7 million wage earners in Norway. That is almost 43,000 more than during the same quarter last year. The growth among men is 2.1 per cent, against 1.2 per cent for women, according to Statistics Norway. The number of employment appointments in Norway increased by 1.9 per cent to 2.9 million appointments in the third quarter of this year. Growth in the number o...
The second round of the 2018 World Chess Championship in London between three-time defending champion Magnus Carlsen and American Fabiano Caruana ended in a draw on Saturday. The two young chess stars, both under 30, have one point each after drawing their opening two games of the tournament. Italian prodigy Carlsen is seeking to cement his reputation as one of history's greatest chess players, while Caruana is another young star helping to return mass app...
Norway said on Friday it was freezing all defence material export licences to Saudi Arabia over recent developments in the country and the war in Yemen. The announcement came amid international outrage over Riyadh's killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October, though Norway did not mention the murder specifically. "We have decided that, in the current situation, no new licences are to be granted for exports...
An operation was underway Thursday to try to stop a Norwegian navy frigate from sinking after it collided with a Maltese oil tanker in a fjord in western Norway. Eight people received minor injuries in the accident, which took place shortly after 4:00 am (0300 GMT) in a busy waterway in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen, Norway's military said. The 137 people on board the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which was returning from Nato's Trident Juncture exercises, were...
Far from the sun-kissed beaches of Rio de Janeiro and Ipanema, Brazilian surfer Gil Ferreira plunges into Norway's icy waters to ride over the dark swells of the Arctic. Swapping shorts for a thick-skinned wetsuit and gloves, Ferreira braved freezing weather, rain and seals in the Lofoten Masters, the only surf competition held in the extremes of the Northern Hemisphere. Ferreira was one of 32 participants in this year's Lofoten tournament, which increasin...
The Coca-Cola Company wants local brand Tøyen-Cola’s new product Jallasprite to be banned with the claim of trademark infringement and violation of the marketing act. According to Vårt Oslo’s report, Jallasprite and Tøyen-Cola’s producer Jarle Hollerud has been informed by Coca-Cola Company that the case will be taken to the district court in Oslo, if he does not stop using the name Jallasprite before Friday. The Coca-Cola Company also requires that all bo...
A Norwegian navy frigate and an oil tanker from Malta collided in Øygarden in western Norway. Seven people were injured. Returning from Nato’s Trident Juncture exercise, KNM Helge Ingstad frigate collided with the Sola TS oil tanker, Norwegian Royal Army confirmed. A total of 137 people were on board the frigate while 23 were on the tanker. The oil tanker received only slight damage, while the frigate has been seriously damaged. A small oil slick from the...