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  • What do a seventeen-year-old Pakistani,

  • a Norwegian explorer,

  • a Tibetan monk,

  • and an American pastor have in common?

  • They were all awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Among the top prestigious awards in the world,

  • this prize has honored some of the most celebrated

  • and revered international figures and organizations in history.

  • To understand how it all got started, we have to go back to the 1800s.

  • Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel

  • was then mostly known for the invention of dynamite,

  • a breakthrough which launched his career as a successful inventor

  • and businessman.

  • 30 years later, he had become extremely wealthy,

  • but never married,

  • and had no children.

  • When his will was opened after his death,

  • it came as a surprise that his fortune was to be used for five prizes

  • in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace.

  • These prizes illustrated his lifelong commitment to sciences

  • and his passion for literature.

  • But what about peace?

  • Because Nobel's name was tied to inventions used in the war industry,

  • many have assumed that he created the peace prize out of regret.

  • However, this is all speculation as he never expressed any such sentiments,

  • and his inventions were also used for constructive purposes.

  • Instead, many historians connect Alfred Nobel's interest for the peace cause

  • to his decade-long friendship and correspondence

  • with an Austrian pacifist named Bertha Von Suttner.

  • Von Suttner was one of the leaders of the international peace movement,

  • and in 1905, after Nobel's death,

  • she became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Nobel's will outlined three criteria for the Peace Prize,

  • which unlike the other Sweden-based prizes,

  • would be administered in Norway.

  • Disarmament, peace congresses, and brotherhood between nations.

  • These standards have since been expanded

  • to include other ways of promoting peace,

  • such as human rights and negotiations.

  • And the prize doesn't just have to go to one person.

  • About a third of Noble Peace Prizes have been shared

  • by two or three laureates.

  • So how do nominations for the prize work?

  • According to the Nobel Foundation,

  • a valid nomination can come from a member of a national assembly,

  • state government,

  • or an international court.

  • Eligible nominators also include university rectors,

  • professors of the social sciences, history, philosophy, law, and theology,

  • and previous recipients of the Peace Prize.

  • But if you want to know more about who was recently nominated,

  • you'll have to be patient.

  • All information about nominations remains secret for 50 years.

  • Take Martin Luther King Jr.

  • We didn't actually know who nominated him until 2014.

  • His nominators turned out to be the Quakers,

  • who had won the prize previously,

  • and eight members of the Swedish Parliament.

  • There's no limit to the number of times a person or organization can be nominated.

  • In fact, Jane Addams,

  • recognized as the founder of social work in the United States,

  • was nominated 91 times before finally being awarded the prize.

  • The absence of a laureate can also be symbolic.

  • The 1948 decision not to award the prize following the death of Mahatma Gandhi

  • has been interpreted as an attempt to respectfully honor

  • the so-called missing laureate.

  • As with the other Nobel Prizes,

  • the Peace Prize can't be awarded posthumously.

  • The secret selection process takes almost a year,

  • and is carried out by the five appointed members

  • of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

  • who are forbidden from having any official political function in Norway.

  • Starting with a large pool of nominations,

  • exceeding 300 in recent years,

  • they access each candidate's work and create a short list.

  • Finally, the chairman of the Nobel Committee

  • publicly announces the laureate in October.

  • The awards ceremony takes place on December 10th,

  • the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.

  • The prize itself includes a gold medal

  • inscribed with the Latin words, "Pro pace et fraternitate gentium,"

  • or "For the peace and brotherhood of men,"

  • as well as a diploma and a large cash prize.

  • Recently, it's been 8 million Swedish kronor,

  • or roughly a million US dollars,

  • which is split in the case of multiple laureates.

  • And while laureates can use the prize money as they choose,

  • in recent years, many have donated it to humanitarian or social causes.

  • For many years, the Nobel Peace Prize was predominately awarded

  • to European and North American men.

  • But in recent years, significant changes have been taking place,

  • making the prize more global than ever.

  • 23 organizations and 103 individuals,

  • that's 87 men and 16 women,

  • have made up the 126 Nobel Peace Prize laureates in history.

  • They include Desmond Tutu for his nonviolent campaign against apartheid

  • in South Africa,

  • Jody Williams for her campaign to ban and clear anti-personnel mines,

  • Rigoberta Menchú Tum for her work for social justice and reconciliation

  • based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples,

  • Martti Ahtisaari for his efforts to resolve international conflicts

  • in Namibia, Kosovo, and Indonesia,

  • and Aung San Suu Kyi for her nonviolent struggle for democracy

  • and human rights in Myanmar.

  • They're just a few examples of the people who have inspired us,

  • challenged us,

  • and demonstrated through their actions

  • that there are many paths to peace.

What do a seventeen-year-old Pakistani,

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B2 TED-Ed prize nobel peace peace prize nobel peace

【TED-Ed】How does the Nobel Peace Prize work? - Adeline Cuvelier and Toril Rokseth

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    Evelyn Teo posted on 2016/10/27
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