This page is not finished - Still under construction
March 3, 2015:
Committee must choose: respect Nobel or resign
In a letter of Feb 20 the Nobel Peace Prize Watch requests the Norwegian Nobel Committee to take the consequences of decisions by two Swedish agencies; they must be able to serve the true content/purpose of Nobel or resign. To provide a proper basis for this decision the NPPW has prepared a presentation of all the valid nominations for 2015 we have been able to find, here. By this we break 115 years of strict secrecy around the nomination process.
Dec. 10, 2014:
A new web portal
launched by The Nobel Peace Prize Watch contains information on the prize and legal decisions by Swedish authorities that affect the work of the Norwegian awarders. The page is a service to media, students and the general public. It is still under construction, but came online now to be of help in the upcoming election for the Nobel Committee. Nobel meant to support Bertha von Suttner and her ideas about global co-operation for peace and disarmament and tasked the Norwegian Parliament with the appointment of an award committee dedicated to that purpose. (See here)
Norwegian awards under Swedish control
The Swedes have made it clear that the Norwegian Nobel Committee is obliged to respect the intention of Nobel and also placed the Norwegian subcommittee under Swedish control. The Nobel Foundation in Stockholm has accepted that it is responsible for the legality and for ensuring that prizes come within the scope of purpose laid down by Nobel. In apparent regret the Nobel Foundation applied for an exemption from the responsibility for ensuring that all prize selections comply with the purpose, but withdrew the application soon after. (See here)
|Lay Down Your Arms
The Lay Down your Arms Association was incorporated and registered in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2014. A main project to start with is The Nobel Peace Prize Watch.
Purpose – Lay Down Your Arms Association
Peace is a common wish for all humanity, it must become our common demand. Peace is a binding legal obligation for all nations, it must become their common practice.
Experience tells us that if we prepare for war we get war. To achieve peace we must prepare for peace. Yet all nations continue to spend astronomic sums and incur extreme risks on a flawed concept of peace by military means. What the world most urgently needs is a common, co-operative security system to replace weapons and endless preparations for violence and war.
For centuries peace activists have claimed that peace through disarmament is necessary and, indeed, the only road to real security. Alfred Nobel decided to promote and support this idea when, in his will of 1895, he included “the prize for the champions of peace” and entrusted the Norwegian Parliament with a key role in the promotion and realization of his purpose. The Norwegians proudly undertook the assignment, further described in the will by language on “creating the brotherhood of nations, ”disarmament,” and “peace congresses.”
Nobel´s plan for preventing future wars thus was that nations must cooperate on disarmament and commit to solving all differences through negotiation or compulsory adjudication, a culture of peace that would free the world from its current addiction to violence and war. With today´s military technologies it is a matter of imperative urgency for the world to seriously consider committing to the idea of Alfred Nobel and Bertha von Suttner.
Suttner was the leading champion of peace at the time and it was her entreaties that led Nobel to establish the prize in support of the peace ideas that need a fresh restart. Taking its name from Suttner´s bestselling novel, “Lay down your arms – Die Waffen Nieder” a first goal for the network is to reclaim the Nobel prize for the “champions of peace” and the specific road to peace that Nobel had in mind and intended to support.
- Nobel Peace Prize Watch
A. What is our special role?
All peace movement efforts for reduction or abolition of armaments depend on arguments in a democratic mobilization of public opinion. So also does The Nobel Peace Prize Watch. Our special advantage is that we not only argue that humanity must, for the sake of the survival of life on the planet, find a way to eliminate weapons, warriors and wars. In addition we make a legal argument – Nobel wanted to support a specific approach to peace – certain people have a legal entitlement by his will. Today the prize is in the hands of its political opponents. We wish to use legal means to get back the money that once was given to the cause of peace by demilitarization of international relations.
B. What are our plans?
The association shall seek to induce political decision-makers to address the imperative urgency of a new international system. To this end we will disseminate information and seek to increase public awareness of how all the nations of the world continue to be locked in power games and a never ending race for superiority in military forces and technology. This approach consumes astronomic sums of money, wastes resources that could serve human needs, and the idea that it gives security is an illusion. Modern weapons represent an imminent threat to the survival of life on the planet. We live in a constant emergency.
The Association was incorporated and registered in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2014. Founding members and board in intitial phase are Tomas Magnusson (Sweden) and Fredrik S. Heffermehl (Norway).
Tomas Magnusson, Gothenburg, Sweden,
Richard Falk, USA, Professor (em.) of International law and organization, Princeton University
Bruce Kent, United Kingdom, President MAW, Movement for Abolition of War, ex President IPB
Dennis Kucinich, USA, Member of Congress, campaigns for US President
Mairead Maguire, Northern Ireland, Nobel laureate (1976)
Norman Solomon, USA, Journalist, anti-war activist
Davis Swanson, USA, Director, World Beyond War
Scandinavian Advisory Board
Nils Christie, Norway, professor, University of Oslo
Erik Dammann, Norway, founder “Future in our hands,” Oslo
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Norway, professor, University of Oslo
Ståle Eskeland, Norway, professor of criminal law, University of Oslo
Erni Friholt, Sweden, Peace movement of Orust
Ola Friholt, Sweden, Peace movement of Orust
Lars-Gunnar Liljestrand, Sweden, Chair of the Association of FiB lawyers
Torild Skard, Norway, Ex President of Parliament, Second chamber (Lagtinget)
Sören Sommelius, Sweden, author and culture journalist
Maj-Britt Theorin, Sweden, ex President, International Peace Bureau
Gunnar Westberg, Sweden, Professor, ex Co-President IPPNW (Nobel peace prize 1985)
Jan Öberg, TFF, Sweden, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research.
|History – Nobel Peace Prize Watch
The association Lay Down Your Arms is founded to continue the efforts of Norwegian lawyer and author Fredrik S. Heffermehl, who, in 2007 suddenly discovered that Nobel and his purpose had landed in oblivion. The Norwegian awarders of the Nobel Peace Prize had disconnected entirely from the original purpose described in the will of Nobel. In August 2007 Heffermehl published an article publicly requesting the Norwegian Nobel Committee to check its mandate and find out and respect what Nobel actually wanted.
Instead of complying the Committee decided to keep awarding the prize for its own broad, all-encompassing, concept of ”peace” and ignore the rights of the ”champions of peace” that Nobel had in mind. The history of the will strongly points those who seek to understand Nobel´s purpose to Bertha von Suttner, the leading peace protagonist of the period. Responding to her entreaties Nobel had promised to ”do something great for the (her) cause.” Three expressions in the will (about creating the brotherhood of nations, disarmament, peace congresses) strongly confirm that it was the Suttner peace ideas and her approach to peace he wished to support with the prize.
A book in 1932, by Ragnvald Moe, the Nobel Committee Secretary through 27 years), confirmed that the prize was initiated to support the peace movement ideas of the 1890s about an alternative international peace system to replace militarism, arms races and wars. But with the end of WWII came a reorientation of the political attitudes in Norway that in 1895 had made the Stortinget (Parliament) a natural choice for Nobel on how to select a committee to whom he could entrust his peace award. Already in 1962 Ursula Jorfald published a book on Suttner and the falsification of history trying to conceal her importance as the key to understanding what Nobel had actually intended.
A great many historians have written about Suttner and her decisive influence to making Nobel include a peace prize in his will of 1895. The books of Fredrik S. Heffermehl were the first to analyze and point out the legal consequences of this. “The content of a will is what the testator intended, irrespective of the words used” confirmed a prominent Swedish lawyer, Torgny Håstad, Chair of the High Council of Trustees of the Nobel Foundation (Nobelfullmäktige), in a scientific article discussing the work of Heffermehl.
Spokespersons for the Norwegian committee and the Nobel Foundation have since 2007 systematically shown reluctance to discuss the points raised both about Alfred Nobel´s own intention and the decisive legal importance of what Nobel really wanted. In 2007 the awarders had forgotten Nobel entirely, the rediscovery led the awarders to offer frivolous claims to adhere to the will, but in actual practice – in the course of seven years – no visible interest in understanding Nobel and his actual intention.
Following unsuccessful demands to have the awarders comply with the will, it became necessary to seek assistance from public authorities tasked with overseeing that legacies and entrusted funds are managed in proper accordance with the law. In Sweden the official body mandated with overseeing that the boards of foundation operate in conformity with their statutory obligations is the Länsstyrelsen, A case was raised by Heffermehl who submitted his book with a complaint in October 2008. In March 2012 the Foundations Authority demanded that the awards must comply with the “description of purpose in the testament” – and relying upon the Nobel Foundation having offered satisfactory promises – decided to dismiss the case without further investigation.
Later, however, the Nobel Foundation – after having the investigation dropped following its promise to check that all prizes comply with the will and further to exercise full and final control over its Norwegian sub-committee – changed its mind and applied to another Swedish authority, the Kammarkollegiet, to be exempted from its statutory obligation to control the Norwegian committee. The application was denied in a decision of March 31, 2014. An appeal lodged against this decision was withdrawn after two months. The result means that the Board of the Swedish Nobel Foundation is obliged to check the selections of the Norwegian committee and refuse to pay a prize to a winner who is outside the scope of purpose that Nobel had in mind.
115 years later Nobel’s approach to peace and security is a more urgent necessity than ever before. The error of the Nobel committee is not in adapting to a modern age, but in failing to understand the point of departure for this exercise. What they should have developed was Nobel’s idea of peace, not their own.
(Fredrik S. Heffermehl in The Nobel Peace Prize, p. 39)
New book: The Nobel Peace Prize (Praeger, 2010)
In his newest book, The Nobel Peace Prize (2010), Norwegian lawyer and author Fredrik S. Heffermehl, shows how far the custodians of Nobel´s prize for "the champions of peace" have moved the prize away from the testator´s actual intentions. Part I offers the first known legal analysis of the testament Nobel wrote in 1895, and in Part II an analysis of the political methods used by official Norway to stonewall the truth about the mismanagement of Nobel´s great vision of peace. The book, in part a case study of democracy and the rule of law in Norway, takes us from the inception of the prize 115 years ago to the present, including a riveting dissection of the 2009 award to US president Barack Obama. It explains how the military sector – in all nations – undermines human security and welfare, preferring to pursue narrow self-interest to solving the real security needs of the world.
What happened to the Nobel Peace Prize?
The Nobel Peace Prize. What Nobel really wanted (Praeger, 2010), offers undisputable evidence that Nobel intended to support the "Champions of peace", those struggling to replace militarism with an international order based on law and abolition of national military forces; the power of the law must replace the law of power. Since 1948 the parties in the Norwegian parliament have delegated the appointment of the Nobel committee to the major parties who misuse the attractive seats as a reward to their party veterans, people lacking not only insight but also loyalty to the peace ideas that Nobel wished to support. In fact the committee members are opposed to the idea of the prize! People who believe in security by military means have taken charge of a prize meant to support a demilitarized world order.
Nobel entrusted the bestowal of one of his five prizes to a five-member committee to be appointed by Norway´s parliament. The Nobel committees, misunderstanding their task, have used the prizes to serve their own ideas of "peace," instead of honoring "the champions of peace", the expression Nobel actually used to describe the recipients.
Interpretation—the determining factors
In his will Alfred Nobel entrusted to the Norwegian parliament to award his prize for "the champions of peace" (by which he meant the peace movement). The concept is elaborated in Chapters 8 and 14:
Nobel clearly specified the recipients
Read more here
Three new translations will be published in the autumn of 2011:
IN FINNISH - IN SUOMEN
IN RUSSIAN - ПЕРЕВОД НА РУССКОМ
IN SWEDISH - PÅ SVENSKA
Reinhard Wolff: Ist der Friedensnobelpreis illegal? Artikel http://www.taz.de/Rechtsstreit-um-Antikriegs-Auszeichnung/!147294/
A group of 16 prominent Scandinavians called for Parliament to reform its selection process and respect its moral
From David Swanson, Director of World Beyond War to the Parliament of Norway (in English).
The Nobel Peace Prize ABC
A: Nobel dedicated his prize to “the champions of peace”
By his will of 1895 Alfred Nobel, the wealthy Swedish inventor and innovator, established five prizes for the persons who “have conferred the greatest benefit on humanity.” Nobel dedicated one of his prizes to “the champions of peace.”
B: A prize to support a specific idea, the abolition of militarism
In the will Alfred Nobel used three concepts to clarify the specific approach and people whose work he wished to support, those committed to breaking the military tradition and building an international community of disarmed nations. The three expressions he used in his will were clear references to the ideas of Bertha von Suttner, the leading champion of peace of the period – the vision of a Völkerverbrüderung (fraternity of nations) promoted by the peace congresses.
C: The purpose of a will is legally binding forever
Nobel entrusted the Norwegian Parliament, then a supporter of Suttner and her ideas, with selecting the five-member Nobel Committee. Over time the ideas of peace in Norway have changed, but the will of Nobel remains the same. Ignoring the law and vital security interests of the world population, the awarders have disconnected from Nobel and transformed his prize for global disarmament into a general prize for “peace.” The legally binding obligation of the awarders is to make the prize once again the challenge to militarism that Nobel intended. If they don´t the task must be placed in the hands of others.
*) This ABC is the sum of numerous works on the history of Alfred Nobel and his “prize for the champions of peace” as presented and analyzed by Fredrik S. Heffermehl in his books, a.o. The Nobel Peace Prize. What Nobel Really Wanted (Praeger, 2010, translated into Chinese, Finnish, Spanish, and Swedish). The peace prize awarders have not attempted to refute the conclusions or the facts that underpin them – they simply keep silent and ignore the truth.
When Alfred Nobel wrote his will in 1895 “Stortinget” (the Parliament of Norway) was a leading promoter of the new peace ideas. When Alfred Nobel entrusted to Parliament to appoint a committee of five to award the prize that was soon popularly known as ”the Nobel Peace Prize.” The will presupposes Parliament to elect a committee qualified and devoted to serving Nobel´s peace ideas.
Fifty years, and two world wars, later, in 1945, political ideas had changed in Norway. The specific intention of Nobel was forgotten and ceased to be a consideration after the Stortinget, in 1948, changed the rules and allocated the seats to the leading political parties, based on latest national elections. Since then the committee seats have been taken up by old party hacks far from the Nobel approach to peace. Instead of a committee of friends of peace and disarmament the world has got a committee of friends of militarism and forces.
The law, however, is clear: Norwegian parliamentarians are obligated to be loyal to Nobel, not pursue their own purposes.
New portal, Dec. 8, 2014:
-- Nobel mente å støtte Suttners ide om at et dyptgående samarbeid mellom nasjonene er det eneste som kunne gjøre slutt på våpenkappløp og militære maktspill og gi varig sikkerhet. Denne ideen er minst like aktuell i dag, hevder Tomas Magnusson, svensk fredsaktivist og mangeårig president i IPB, det internasjonale fredsbyrå i Geneve. På vegne av initiativtagerne sier han at det må være klart at forsvarsvenner ikke er de rette til å forvalte en pris som var tiltenkt fredsvennene og deres nedrustnigsarbeid. Magnusson viser til flere fremstøt for å informere Stortinget om de kravene som etter testamentet må gjelde for å bli oppnevnt.
En rekke kjente personligheter i bl.a. Skandinavia og USA er medlem av organisasjonens Advisory Board. (here)
Gothenburg, Dec. 8, 2014
For ytterligere kommentar:
Media release, dec. 10, 2014:
OVERVIEW LEGAL CHALLENGES
- Letters Feb 2015 require Nobel awarders to change policy
Feb. 20, 2015, to the Norwegian Parliament, the Nobel Committee and the Nobel Foundation insisting that they comply with the law and the orders from public authorities. See the letter here.
Feb. 27, 2015, to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, email presenting the of qualified candidates for 2015. See the letter here.
- Swedish authorities demand change
The Norwegian Nobel Committee often has claimed that the many challenges to their stewardship of the Nobel Peace Prize have not led to any results. The opposite is true, complaints have led to authorities expecting/ordering significant reform.
In 2012 the Swedish Foundations Authority turned down a claim from the Norwegian Nobel Committee to be independent and “not to take instructions from anyone” in its selections of winners. The Norwegian committee then moved for an exemption from the Swedish Foundations Act, which was also turned down. This means that the ultimate and final responsibility for peace prizes being legal has moved from Oslo to Stockholm, and now rests with the members of the Board of the Nobel Foundation.
The Committee repeatedly claims to honor the purpose described in the will and rejects criticism for ignoring the intention of the testator – but has for 7 years been unable to refute any of the evidence showing that this is untrue. The peace prize awarders adamantly and consistently fail to show any interest in information on Nobel and his actual intention.
They seem determined to keep ignoring the fact that the Peace Prize was established by the Nobel testament of 1895; that a will is a legal instrument; and that the binding obligation of the stewards is to find out which peace efforts Nobel wished to favor. It is, of course, Nobel´s own intention that counts, not what his trustees prefer to read into the text of the will.
The following is an account of some attempts to persuade the authorities to intervene.
1. Norway (The Norwegian Lottery and Foundations) Authority) – upon request Oct. 7, 2008, (in Norwegian / English) for injunctive action - deferred to the Swedish Foundation Authority. Reason: The Nobel Foundation is Swedish and the responsibility lies with the Swedish authorities. The Swedish Authority immediately took action of its own initiative based on a received copy of this letter (see below, 2a).
2. The Swedish Foundation Authority
a. 2008, Acting on its own, on the basis of a received copy of letter from Fredrik S. Heffermehl to the Norwegian authority, the Swedish Foundations Authority immediately announced its decision to investigate, see letter from Heffermehl Oct. 31, 2008 (in Norwegian). Suddenly it dismissed the case from investigation on December 23, 2008. Reason: The Authority could not find that there were any violations to take action agains
b) 2010 - 2012: Following several new appeals from Heffermehl, a.o on Nov. 3, 2010 (in English) with attachment (in English), the Authority at last decided to open an investigation, and, in a letter of Jan. 30, 2012 (in English), requested a response from the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Foundation submitted its statement on March 8, 2012, (in Swedish/Norwegian). On March 21, 2012 (in Swedish), it was decided to dismiss case without further investigation. Reason: The Authority relied upon the Nobel Foundation having confirmed to know its responsibilities under the Foundations Act, and its will to abide. The Foundation confirmed having understood its superior and ultimate responsibility for the awards, including their legality and compliance with the specification of purpose.
The Authority´s decision contained guidance on how the Nobel Foundation should improve its compliance with the will, by 1) analyzing the purpose described in the will, 2) instructing the awarding committees, 3) introducing procedures to ensure compliance with the purpose. The Authority also noted that the superior Nobel Foundation Board (Stockholm) had understood that it could not pay a prize over to the winner if the subsidiary Nobel Committee (Oslo) should select a winner outside the purpose.
c. May 2014: Group of 16 requests concrete injunctions
New complaint , 2014, co-signed by 16 prominent Scandinavians, and supplemented with May 26, 2014 (in Swedish), letter from Swedish Attorney Kenneth Lewis. September 20, 2014, noted the Nobel Foundation´s lack of loyal follow-up. The Nobel Foundation in practice had shown no intention to implement and take action as promised against prizes outside the scope of the purpose, therefore time was over for advice and polite requests. Now it was necessary with concrete orders from the Authority to prevent continued violations.
[2013) The Nobel Foundation (Stockholm) applied to the Chamber College (Kammarkollegiet) to be exempt from its chief task, which is to control that Nobel´s purpose with the prizes is being fulfilled. The Foundations Authority (LS) issued a statement June 14, 2013 (in Swedish), strongly advising against exemption. Protest by Fredrik S. Heffermehl June 24, 2013 (in English). The International Peace Bureau protested September 20, 2013 (in Swedish).
The Kammarkollegiet decided, March 31, 2014 (in Swedish), to refuse the Nobel Foundation application. The Nobel Foundation first appealed the decision to the Swedish government, but then, after two months, withdrew the appeal, thereby accepting its superior authority and final say in the selection of peace prize laureates.
4. ØKOKRIM – police investigation of Nobel Committee
April 2014: Request for criminal investigation and prosecution by Fredrik S. Heffermehl, with 16 co-signers, on April 8, 2014) in (Norwegian / English) lodged with ØKOKRIM (Norway´s National prosecutor for economic crime) which decided that the matter was peripheral to their special field of authority and priorities. On July 28, 2014, submitted to the Oslo Police. Their dismissal has been appealed to the National Prosecutor (Riksadvokaten).
Here they are!
The True Nobel Candidates
The Norwegian Nobel Committee ignores the testament of Nobel and insists on pursuing its own ideas. The committee is not willing to see how the expressions Nobel used and the promise he gave to Bertha von Suttner to “do something big for the movement” (italics added) leave no room for doubt what “champions of peace” Nobel intended to support. Expressed in modern language:
That this is the content of the prize and the legally binding scope of all selections was presented to the Nobel Committee 7 years ago. Instead of discussing or contesting the conclusion, the Committee has chosen to ignore it.
The peace vision of Nobel is of imperative urgency in the world today. Everyone is entitled to know and be able to see and discuss the peace idea of Nobel and its value. The rule that all nominations shall be kept secret for fifty years defeats the Nobel purpose. It permits the committee to get away with the untrue claim that the “champions of peace” Nobel described in his will no longer exist. Today the secrecy serves as a tool to hide the truth. That is why the Nobel Peace Prize Watch has decided to break the secrecy and publish the full list of qualified candidates, in combination with a letter to the three awarding bodies demanding full respect for the great peace idea Nobel wished to support.
Below is the list of those we know who are nominated AND qualified, under a wide understanding of the purpose of Nobel, either
Abolition 2000, Global network organization
Article 9, Japan
Falk, Richard, USA
Ferencz, Benjamin, USA
Snowden, Edward, USA
Swanson, David, USA
Mr. Taniguchi, Sumiteru, Japan
Ware, Alyn, New Zealand
Weiss, Peter, USA
Women´s international League for Peace and Freedom, WILPF (Geneva)
Waiting list - Insufficient information
The following appear to be nominated, but we have not been able to get
The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear arms, ICAN
Manning, Chelsea, USA
Sharp, Gene, USA
Kathryn Bolkovac, USA
"for her continuing efforts to call international attention to the problems and abuses of the private military and security business.
From attachment, in Bolkovac´s own words:
"I advocate stopping the violations of human rights being perpetuated in war zones, by those who do not report to the government they are hired to represent, but to a corporation. The subsequent transport and migration of vulnerable populations to provide manpower and sexual services for these war machines disgusts me. Government contracted wars are certainly not a step toward peace resolution. Soldiers of government sanctioned military and civilian policing monitors, especially those who have been sanctioned through the United Nations Security Council resolutions, are expected to work honorably for democratic principles and freedoms. These groups and individuals are to be accountable for their actions to their respective governments and military tribunals. They should not be in mission as private contractor, collecting tax free dollars, and in competition for more war contracts.
NOTE from Nobel Peace Prize Watch to Nobel Committee:
See the whole nomination here.
Steinar Bryn, Norway
"I have worked with the issue of "alternative dispute resolution" for a number of years. The main focus here is to involve the parties in dialogue instead of continued conflict, ….
But it is clear that these ideas and desires are even more important on the international arena. Steinar Bryn and Nansen Dialogue have created a model that shows that reconciliation, settlement and peace-building is possible, even within where large and fresh post-war wounds still exist. This is vital experiences and ideas of the greatest value for the effort of global peace-building which Nobel had as the aim of the prize; it is new knowledge deserving recognitioned and the attention that a Nobel Prize will give."
Note from Nobel Peace Prize Watch to Nobel Committee:
Nansen Dialogue Network (Lillehammer, regional offices in the Balkans)
«The Act on mediation councils in Norway is the first of its kind in Europe, and [it] has been a significant success.
In the aftermath of the conflict in the Balkans, Bryn and Nansen Dialogue have developed innovative methods and experiences on how to heal the war-wounds and overcome conflicts. Nansen Dialogue has chosen to work in the most difficult and traumatized communities with the greatest number of victims during the wars in the Balkans. …
See the whole nomination here.
Daniel Ellsberg, USA
Ellsberg decided to hand over the Pentagon Papers to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, J. William Fulbright. When Fulbright refrained from acting on this information, Ellsberg turned to The New York Times. The paper started to publish parts of the material, but was stopped by the Nixon administration. Ellsberg responded by giving access to the documents to The Washington Post and 17 other newspapers, making it difficult – if not impossible – for the government to put a lid on the story. Firmly anchored in the Constitution’s amendments on Freedom of Expression, the U. S. Supreme Court would soon rule that the newspapers could resume their publishing of the content of the Pentagon Papers.
….There can be no doubt that Daniel Ellsberg’s actions contributed significantly to ending the Vietnam War.
The year 1973 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Ellsberg’s long service to society. As a peace activist he promoted disarmament during the Cold War – at a time when the nuclear arsenal of the superpowers was in steady growth. Up till this day he has been active and central in several peace organizations and peace initiatives – a never resting and influential engagement that through the years has been remarkably comprehensive and consistent.
In 2004 Ellsberg founded “The Truth Telling Project” which later gave birth to another important initiative, the manifesto “Call to Patriotic Whistleblowing”. This eventually led to the foundation of the “National Security Whistleblowers Coalition” (NSWBC). Ellsberg’s ethos is that government servants have a particular democratic responsibility to disclose untruths that aim to manipulate public opinion and public discourse, leading democratic decisions to be taken on false premises.
Ellsberg is an inspiring example of how the authoritative and responsible citizen can influence world-historical events. He was willing to pay a very high price to share this information publicly – and he contributed significantly to the ending of one of most dismal chapters of the 20th century war history. The fact that Ellsberg is a citizen of one of the world’s most powerful nations adds a particular dimension to his peace contribution.
In addition, I would like to highlight Ellsberg’s lifelong and extraordinarily meritorious work for peace and disarmament. He has also been a representative of a comprehensive movement that over the years has contributed to peace and détente."
Ellsberg’s example and attitude have proved to be of great significance today, and he has won a reputation as the “grand old man” of whistleblowing. It is hard today even to imagine discussing whistleblowing without including the role that Ellsberg’s played in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s. His contribution to the exposure of the Pentagon Papers is a shining example of a citizen’s bravery and civil courage.
It is crucial that civil society is able to react when citizens do not get the information that they are entitled to. Their free and independent assessments of government policies is an indispensable safety valve in every democracy. It is worth reminding ourselves that through sombre times in our history, individuals can be as important as systems in upholding democratic ideals. This induces hope for the future of democracy itself.
Prof. Richard Falk, USA
«…. for his unique contribution both to disarmament and to developing its necessary foundations in international law and global governance.
His writing and speaking on the immorality and illegality of nuclear weapons has made Dr. Falk a key figure in the international struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He early questioned the legality of nuclear weapons and was inspirational to the civil society effort that led to an advisory opinion from the World Court in 1996 confirming the illegality of nuclear weapons. It was Dr. Falk who discovered the important Shimoda case (Japan 1963), the only legal assessment by a court of law of the atomic bombs used against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which he then brought to the attention of the English-speaking world.
Richard Falk collaborated with Robert Jay Lifton on a widely read book entitled Indefensible Weapons: The Political and Psychological Case Against Nuclearism (1982), and more recently with David Krieger on an edited volume entitled At the Nuclear Precipice. In 1985 he served in the four-member Panel of Judges at the Nuclear Warfare Tribunal in London, chaired by Nobel laureate Sean MacBride, reported in The Bomb and the Law (1989).
The trust necessary to achieve progress in disarmament requires a type of good and respectful relations that can only be credible and lasting if they are founded in treaties and bind states to orderly, just and non-violent relations. This is what Bertha von Suttner saw, what Alfred Nobel saw when he wrote his will, and what Richard Falk has seen. ….. With unequalled devotion, skill and energy Richard Falk has, throughout his professional life, sought to realize the law-based international system that is a necessary precondition for progress towards arms reductions. …. his unique effort to lay the legal foundations of a peaceful, just and non-violent world order that are a precondition for progress towards disarmament.»
See the whole nomination for 2009 here.
«…. continues his untiring work through a long life for a global rule of law based on international law, not use of military measures, entirely in keeping with the Nobel testament."
See the whole nomination for 2015 here.
Nominated by Prof. Hope May, Central Michigan Uni, Dept of Philosophy and Religion:
Benjamin Ferencz, USA
"2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Nuremberg Trials in 1945. Benjamin Ferencz was a young lawyer who participated in this revolutionary moment in international law. Since that time, he has devoted his life to both establishing the world’s first permanent International Criminal Court (which came into existence in 1998), and to developing the legal framework which identifies waging aggressive war as an international crime. These efforts have undoubtedly promoted cooperation and fraternity among nations.
1NOTE from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch to the Nobel Committee:
See the nomination letter here
Nihon Hidankyo, Japan
"We nominate : (1) the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), a nationwide independent organization of the Hibakusha. Since its founding in August 1956, it has been working in unity, beyond the difference of beliefs and opinions, encouraging its members to help each other to promote the cause of a ban on atomic and hydrogen bombs, by making known their sufferings and struggles. Their activities are fully worthy of the name, “champion of peace”, in the light of the ideal of disarmament, for which Alfred Nobel established the Nobel Peace Prize.
(2) Mr. Sumiteru TANIGUCHI and (3) Ms. Setsuko THURLOW, outstanding representatives of the Hibakusha movement, who have been at the forefront of the efforts of the Hibakusha throughout their lives, calling for a ban and for the abolition of nuclear weapons, based on their own painful experiences.
Background details on all 3 nominees can be found at Annexes 1-3 in the full nomination, link below.
IPB believes that the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to these courageous persons, and indeed to a courageous movement, would be a contribution of unique value and extraordinary importance to the worldwide community of nuclear disarmament advocates, itself 70 years old this year.
The continued existence of nuclear weapons threatens the very survival of life on earth. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has recognised this supreme threat in several of its previous awards. We urge the Committee, at this historic moment, to return to this theme and to itself make a courageous choice: to recognise and reward the Hibakusha."
See the whole nomination here.
Good presentations also here:
Nihon Hidankyo, Japan
Article 9, Japan
"I would like to nominate for this year's peace prize two organizations in Japan which, for many years, have been in the forefront of promoting two great and not unrelated causes: abolition of nuclear weapons, and defence of Art. 9 of the Japanese constitution.
The survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been for many decades, and continue to be, among the most energetic, passionate, and convincing advocates of nuclear disarmament. These Hibakusha are aging, and for many, it is an agony and great disappointment that the cause to which they have dedicated their shattered lives remains a dream. In this 70th anniversary year, it would be most appropriate and deserved if their efforts would, at long last, be recognised by the award of the prize. They have been and continue to be a major force in the global movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Nihon Hidankyo, the federation of survivors' organisations, is the most representative organisation to receive the award which would be widely welcomed, both at home and worldwide. It would, moreover, and equally importantly, provide a stimulus for the abolition of nuclear weapons and a counterweight to current plans of nuclear powers to modernise their arsenals.
Article 9 has been seriously eroded over the years, not least with the encouragement of the USA, and now is being further weakened by the measures being introduced by the present government - against the express wishes of the vast majority of the Japanese people. At the same time, these policies of the Abe government are causing alarm in the region, first and foremost in China and Korea where the legacy of Japanese militarism and colonialism is still keenly felt. Grassroots movements for the protection of Art. 9 have existed for many years and at various times have been estimated to number 6,000 groups and more. The Article 9 Society, established by leading intellectuals, is widely seen as the most representative organisation in the field. The strong popular support for the maintenance and indeed strengthening of Art. 9 has been shown by the campaign which has been launched during the past two years, and which has brought many signatures to Oslo. The award to the Article 9 Society would be welcomed not only by the vast majority of Japanese, but also by the country's neighbours. Moreover, it would make this remarkable, indeed revolutionary, constitutional article much better known around the world.
The joint award to these two Japanese organisations would be fully in accordance with the purposes for which Alfred Nobel created the prize. 'Laying Down Arms' has become an imperative for the nuclear age - with Hiroshima and Nagasaki as stark warnings of the alternative. At a time when much of the world is commemorating the centenary of the First World War, an award for the cause of the abolition of nuclear weapons, and of the abolition of standing armies and of the option to go to war (as determined by Art. 9) would be a most meaningful way for your esteemed committee to indicate the necessity of learning lessons."The above is the entire text of the Prof. van den Dungen´s nomination
(also a comprehensive and detailed nomination by the International Peace Bureau, see here).
IALANA, International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear War, Berlin, New York, Colombo (Sri Lanka)
"In 1987 …. American and Soviet lawyers met in New York [and] in 1988 the international IALANA was formed [and] became the start of intense efforts over the East-West divide by a number of qualified lawyers co-operating and acquiring great expertise in the work to enforce and develop further the international law preventing annihilation of civilization and life on the planet by the advent of nuclear war.
See the IALANA website here
and the LCNP here
«The German chapter of IALANA in addition to nuclear disarmament pursues a particularly broad agenda of war prevention and building respect for international law, see information at ialana.de. It has a wide program of publications, seminars, working groups, relating to the legal aspects of the military activities and politics of Germany and her allies. By this broadness of its agenda the German IALANA appears different from most of the strictly one-issue antinuclear campaigns and this general rejection of militarism in so multiple and varied ways make it particularly qualified for a Nobel prize. Particularly their Frieden durch Recht program is in line with the Nobel goal of letting law replace power in international relations. I attach an annex with some of the information from their website. "
See the Juristen und …. website here
« Peter Weiss has been at the helm of the lawyers´ efforts against nuclear weapons from the beginning. He was a key figure when The Lawyers´ Committee for Nuclear Policy (http://lcnp.org/aboutlcnp/index.htm) was founded in New York in 1981. This initiative over time led to the development and mobilization of a sizable worldwide circle of lawyers with remarkable skills in nuclear issues and international law related to war and peace, engaged in dissemination of knowledge and action for political change. The goal and guiding idea for the broad agenda of peace work pursued by Peter Weiss, always was to let the force of the law replace the law of force, which also is the most basic idea underlying the Nobel prize for “the champions of peace.” In addition to pursuing the nuclear issues Weiss has worked for peace in many arenas and settings, not least the diplomacy around the United Nations. Major results have been accomplished in the framework of the Center of Constitutional Rights (http://ccrjustice.org/missionhistory) where Weiss is vice president. Peter Weiss and his wife, Cora Weiss, were the key figures in organizing the great Hague Peace Conference of 1999, with 10 000 persons participating, «Peace congresses is» an activity specifically mentioned in Nobel´s description of his peace plan in the will. ….The growth of the lawyers´ activity, of the organizational network, its results and its productivity, must in a very qualified way be credited to Peter Weiss and his inspiring leadership. He is a personality who, drawing on a broad legal and cultural knowledge.»
See the whole nomination here.
David Krieger, USA
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NAPF, USA
“… These images [visit to Hiroshima in youth] painted a horrific past and bore testimony to an intolerable future that would never leave Dr. Krieger. From then on, he would devote his life to avoiding the tragedy of nuclear war and seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons.
In his early career, Dr. Krieger worked with two important think tanks: The Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) and the Foundation for Reshaping International Order (RIO). At the CSDI, he worked on developing a World Disarmament Community. At the RIO Foundation, he led an international project studying dual-purpose technologies and their relationship to disarmament, development and the environment.
Dr. Krieger went on to co-found the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1982 with the understanding that peace is an imperative of the nuclear age. For thirty-two years NAPF has conducted innovative programs related to building peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons. Since the Foundation’s inception, Dr. Krieger has led the quest to bring a world free of nuclear weapons from a vision to a reality. He has done so with gentle humility, deep compassion and unwavering perseverance.
NAPF has consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and is recognized by the U.N. as a Peace Messenger Organization. It also has a world-renowned Advisory Council that has, over the years, included many Nobel Laureates. Currently there are five Advisors who are Nobel Laureates: Archbishop Desmond Tutu; His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama; Shirin Ebadi, J.D.; Mairead Corrigan Maguire; and John Polanyi.
While NAPF is the heart of Dr. Krieger’s work, he has also championed peace and nuclear disarmament in many other organizations. He is a co-founder of Abolition 2000 and a principal drafter of Abolition 2000’s Founding Statement. He is a founder of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) and has served as the Chair of its Executive Committee. He is a founder of the Middle Powers Initiative and has served as the Chair of its Executive Committee. He is a Councilor on the World Future Council and serves as Co-Chair of its Peace and Disarmament Commission.
Dr. Krieger has authored and edited more than twenty books and hundreds of articles on peace, justice and nuclear weapon abolition. He is also an accomplished poet for peace and justice. He continues to travel the world, inspiring the next generation of peace leaders to take up the mantle for achieving nuclear zero. Always, he is a teacher.”
See the whole nomination here
Evelin Lindner, Norway
"Through her pioneering work to avoid humiliation of nations and secure or safeguard human dignity Dr. Evelin Lindner is making a unique contribution to realizing the idea of Alfred Nobel’s will, that of co- operation and understanding between all nations or peoples as the key to enabling them to free the world of military weapons and wars.
Note from Nobel Peace Prize Watch to Nobel Committee:
See the whole nomination here.
Federico Mayor, Spain
"Federico Mayor managed in an unprecedented way during his period as Director General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999 to make a platform for the involvement of Governments, a large number of professional groups and civil society movements in reflection and action on the then new concept of a culture of peace. Since 2000, his devotion to the ideals of a culture of peace and his many initiatives have been expressed through different channels, not least the Foundation for a Culture of Peace based in Madrid."
Note from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch to the Nobel Committee:
"UNESCO, the UN institution to “build peace in the mind of men” in order to “save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, will celebrate its 70th anniversary 16th of November this year. It deserves, with all its virtues and defects, successes and failures, a recognition for peace building worldwide. It is actually quite difficult to understand how UNESCO with its mandate and high level of activity in favor of peace has gone under the radar of the Norwegian Nobel Committee for so long.»
See the whole nomination here.
Dr. Jan Oberg, Sweden
“Dr. Oberg is a Danish citizen who has dedicated his life to the work for a change of international relations where peace by peaceful means will replace the traditional and conventional idea of peace by military means. As detailed in the following Mr. Oberg is a prolific writer who has promoted his approach to peace in many books, articles and in practical hands on work in several of the world´s worst troublespots. With great acumen Oberg makes extensive use of the new communication technologies, and he is a very active teacher and speaker in academic, political and other public fora. Instead of pursuing an academic career, Oberg preferred to be independent; he has organized and funded, and been the director for almost 30 years of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, in Lund, Sweden.
In today's world civil society initiatives play a very different and vastly more important role in the peace efforts than at the time Nobel wrote his will. Civil society is developing new mechanisms and networks to balance the existing lopsidedness of global structures and cultures which so blatantly favours armament (including nuclearism) and military means, exactly the forces that Nobel expressly wished to abolish or reduce through the core content of his 1895 will. The purpose of the will is to have international relations governed by law rather than military power. In today's world we much more often hear the language of power, threats and humiliation than the voices of moderation, tolerance and respect in relations among states and peoples. To make the world a better place, we need a more fair balance and more free opinion formation; we need analyses entirely independent of state, party political and corporate interests. Humankind needs honest information to balance stereotypes cultivated and reflected in media-constructed images of what happens around the world. We need knowledge-based scholarship and diversified information/news that also highlight the omnipresent potentials of non-violence as both a means and an end.”
See the whole nomination here.
Nominated by MPs Bård Vegard Solhjell and Snorre Valen, Parliament of Norway:
"As former Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corigan-Maguire said, "peace is more than simply the absence of war; it is the active creation of something better". Our leaders are not merely actors on a global stage of preserving self-interest, they are also political leaders whom we need to trust, and hold accountable. Their responsibilities go beyond realpolitik and zero-sum games, their actions have real consequences for real people.
…. We do not necessarily support all of his disclosures. We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden's whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order1. His actions have led to the first real public debated on modern mass surveillance. To enable increasing democratic control over these measures is a crucial step to reintroduce trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies. Its value cannot be overestimated."
NOTE from Nobel Peace Prize Watch to Nobel Committee:
See the whole nomination here.
David Swanson, USA
"Swanson is a very productive author, activist, journalist, and radio host who pursues his peace and disarmament agenda with a unique combination of energy, dedication, and now – at 45 – also experience. His books are widely read and influential. He has a rare combination of talent both for written and oral communication and is frequently invited to speak throughout the United States and internationally. As a reporter and a columnist he is widely published. He is an online presence, blogging at his own website davidswanson.org and at WarIsACrime.org which is a site he maintains as a venue for numerous antiwar bloggers. That site was originally called AfterDowningStreet.org and is widely credited with having created awareness in the United States and elsewhere of false official statements supportive of wars. This started with his influential exposure of governmental misinformation in the course of seeking to mobilize public support for engagement in the Iraq war (Downing Street Memo/Minutes). He has made available abundant additional evidence that confirm attempts by governments and a compliant media to deceive the general public so that it will go along with unjust and unlawful wars.
During 2014 (“the last expired year” – as Nobel mentions in his will) Swanson has been instrumental in creating a new global nonprofit organization called WorldBeyondWar.org. As its director Swanson is in charge, hands on, of a major effort to build a truly international effort, connecting people and organizations, and building support for a variety of antiwar endeavors around the world. Thousands of people from 89 nations have signed a pledge at this website in recent months, indicating their desire to work to eliminate war altogether. World Beyond War has begun working to advance global public understanding of the possibility, necessity, and desirability of ending all war. The arguments made closely parallel those more fully developed in Swanson's book, War No More, the Case for Abolition.»"
NOTE from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch to the Nobel Committee:
See the whole nomination here.
Alyn Ware, New Zealand
"Alyn Ware ... has, for the last 30 years, been a central figure in the global NGO movement for peace and disarmament. ... a pivotal figure in the world-wide network of experts, academics, politicians and international organisations working to address and end the nuclear weapons threat to humanity. … (In)the United Nations community in New York, Ware has operated as the Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Nuclear Policy, also participating in and organising innumerable NGO actions and events at the UN.
"The Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons (Abolition 2000) was established in 1995 as an open network of civil society organizations calling for negotiations to commence on a Nuclear Weapons Convention (a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons), in conjunction with the achievement of short-term goals such as ending nuclear tests, reducing nuclear stockpiles, taking nuclear weapons systems off alert, establishing regional nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs), encouraging non-nuclear energy sources (due to the proliferation risk of nuclear energy) and affirming the illegality of nuclear weapons under international humanitarian law.
Abolition 2000 started as a collaborative effort of 130 civil society organizations focusing on advocacy in key international bodies including the Review Conferences of the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Conference on Disarmament and the United Nations General Assembly. By the year 2000 the network had grown to over 2000 member organizations from more than 90 countries, operating in a range of other international forums as well as in key capitals.
Abolition 2000 provides various methods for informing, engaging and assisting member organizations and individuals in nuclear disarmament issues and initiatives, including through email forums, online tools (website, Facebook...), a monthly electronic newsletter, meetings/conferences, working groups, actions and advocacy caucuses at intergovernmental meetings. "
See the whole nomination here .
Nominated by Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens:
"WILPF’s human security vision
Read the whole nomination here.
Peace prize quiz
The task and the obligatory mandate of the Nobel committee is to be loyal defenders of Nobel and his peace vision, of a changed international system, establishing a global agreement on global co-operation on global law and disarmament. Here you can guess whether the committee did right to Nobel or made its own prize - and compare with how the author, Heffermehl, concluded in his book on the Nobel [Champions of] Peace Prize:
1The evaluation for 2011, to three outstanding women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and