The Nobel Peace Prize 2009: A Prize for Noble Intentions

It is difficult enough to be president of the United States of America and try to be a transformative leader for the world against nuclear proliferation, climate change, Middle East conflict, dictatorship and corruption. Now Barack Obama has to explain to everyone why he has won the biggest peace prize in the world as well.

It is difficult enough to be president of the United States of America and try to be a transformative leader for the world against nuclear proliferation, climate change, Middle East conflict, dictatorship and corruption.

Now Barack Obama has to explain to everyone why he has won the biggest peace prize in the world as well.

Such is the difficult position which America’s first black president is in.

On Wednesday he went to sleep thinking about what he was going to do in the morning about the other huge elephant in the room that his predecessor left him in Afghanistan. He woke up to congratulations for winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his good intentions, his ability to unify and change the level of international engagement between political foes and his massive pro-world agenda. Between his speech in response to the award and a crucial war council on Afghanistan there was only one hour.

As he personally admitted, he might not be president when the climate change policies he seeks become reality. He might not even be alive when nuclear weapons become history, but the zeal and the sense of purpose to take on such huge responsibilities is the reason why the Swedish Academy made the controversial decision to choose him.

Obama’s presidency will in future be seen as a game changer in international politics and that is why his presidency may not be as satisfying as he would like it to be.

The expectations are very high and numerous. But it is important that some one as powerful as an American president provides leadership.

The Obama administration is between a rock and hard place; on one side preaching peace to a stubborn ally (Israeli) while giving back a nation its sovereignty (Iraq) while fighting a battle hardened enemy in Afghanistan and Pakistan ( the Taliban). 

Obama’s administration is clearly giving multi-lateral diplomacy the chance to take centre stage in world politics again after the unilateral madness of his predecessor.

In a world where terrorist threats are more fluid and difficult to control and where the threats of climate change and nuclear holocaust abound, it is crucial that the world powers consult with the minions of the world to find solutions to problems that we face and threaten our future generations

So Obama may be may not accomplish half of what he wants to in eight years but it is important that someone has the courage to start that journey.

That person happens to be Barack Obama and for that, the Swedish academy may as well award him many more Nobel Peace Prizes.

kelviod@yahoo.com*

The author is a social commentator and regular contributor

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