Statement by Fredrik S.Heffermehl: Nobel´s Peace Prize? Yes … and no

by Fredrik S. Heffermehl

Many see the 2019 Nobel for peace as a humanitarian prize and thus not within Nobel’s intention, but the committee’s announcement does characterize sexual violence as a weapon of war and praises efforts to end such war crimes. The 2018 prize is linked to a major theme of the day, equal rights for women, protection against violence. The committee has often borrowed glory from popular phenomena but accepted our advice that the prize could not be given to MeToo.

Few seem to have realized why the prize for Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad are within the Nobel testament. They then fail to link the acknowledgement of rape as a weapon with the fact that disarmament is the probably most distinctive concept in Nobel’s description of the prize for the champions of peace. Moreover, Nobel had a more ambitious goal than ending violence in war – he wished to end war. The ideal peace prize would go directly to that goal, not indirectly, as in 2018. In the award ceremony this December, the Nobel committee should emphasize disarmament and Nobel’s overarching goal, the abolition of all weapons, a global cooperation on a demilitarized “brotherhood of nations”.

For Nobel Peace Prize Watch

Fredrik S. Heffermehl, lawyer, editor of

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