Nobel Peace Prize 2020: Greta Thunberg, WHO, Jacinda Ardern among top picks
The Nobel Peace Prize remains one of the much-awaited categories, which will be announced on Friday at around 2.30pm (Indian time). This year, 318 nominations have been submitted, including that of 211 individuals and 107 organisations.The names are always kept secret. However, the secrecy around the names never stopped speculations. Here is a list of the frontrunners:
Reports said Swedish teenage activist Thunberg could be honoured, either alone, with other activists, or with her “Fridays for Future” movement. UN’s climate science advisory panel IPCC and former US vice president Al Gore had won the Peace prize in 2007. In 2018, Greta addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference. In 2019, she sailed to North America to attend the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit where her speech “how day you” brought her international acclaim.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope? How dare you,” she had said.
If she wins, she would be the second-youngest Nobel laureate in history, just behind Pakistani activist Malala, and the 18th woman to win the Peace Prize.
World Health Organization
Though WHO’s response to the pandemic has invited severe criticism, it is also one of the top favourites as it is working towards ensuring equitable distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine, once it comes. It has set up a vaccine pool, COVAX, which will have rapid access to doses of safe and effective vaccines as soon as any vaccine is approved. Countries which have joined COVAX will get the benefits.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s response to the Christchurch mosque attacks in 2019 and her leadership in eliminating Covid-19 from the country have kept her as one of the favourites of the bookies betting on probable winners. Ardern was nominated last year too
Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was recently poisoned by Kremlin, has been nominated for the prize. The recent news of Navalny being hospitalised after being poisoned during a flight has created a stir in the international media. But Navalny has been fighting against corruption for over a decade now. Russian authorities arrested him several times.
Last year, the award went to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, for his efforts to end a 20-year-post-war stalemate with Eritrea.
Many other names of possible Nobel winners have also been circulating in Oslo, including Afghan peace negotiator and women’s rights activist Fawzia Koofi, the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN and its secretary general Antonio Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the icon of Sudan’s revolution Alaa Salah.
(With Agency Inputs)