Wednesday, October 20

Experts and bookmakers disagree on peace prize favorites

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on the podium in Milan. On the left is the UN climate chief, Patricia Espinosa, also nominated for the Peace Prize as head of the UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC).

The WHO and Greta Thunberg are the big favorites of bookmakers to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but researchers and experts leave them little chance.

Most of the BNAs have spoken ahead of Friday’s awards ceremony, highlighting three issues they think the Nobel Committee wants to focus on this year:

  • The fight to save the planet from devastating climate change.
  • The fight for freedom of information and expression.
  • Nonviolent struggle to break free from an authoritarian regime.

Those who believe that the climate will be the big problem this year, point to Greta Thunberg as their favorite, but the UN Climate Convention is also mentioned.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and / or Reporters Without Borders are singled out by those who believe that the fight for press freedom is rewarded with an award.

Others speculate that Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya or Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny will be rewarded for their fight against authoritarian leaders Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin.

Journalists in conflict areas who document abuses and claim reliable facts risk life and health. Here is the American journalist Danny Fenster in 2018. Fenster was arrested when he was about to board a plane to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, in May and risks up to three years in prison for having covered the legality of the coup and the government military in the country.

More outsiders

However, the Nobel Committee may have found another candidate among the 329 nominees who they believe is more worthy, and who may surprise and generate more enthusiasm.

The influential American magazine Time lists President Joe Biden among its favorites.

Perhaps surprisingly, after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan that led to the Taliban takeover, the newspaper also notes that Biden signed with the United States again on the Paris Agreement, halted construction of the border wall with Mexico, and resumed funding. of the World Health Organization. (WHO).

The latter is the great favorite of bookmakers, shows a summary made by the betting site Betting shops. Among others, the British Betfair and William Hill give odds of 5/4 and 6/4 in the WHO, respectively.

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaja at an event organized by Razam and with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee at Eidsvoll Square in Oslo this year. She is one of the favorites to receive the Peace Prize this year.

Write favorites

However, experts do not believe that the committee will award the award to WHO, given that it presented the award to the World Food Program last year.

– I don’t think WHO will receive the award, although I think WHO has certainly played an important role during the pandemic. The question is whether they have done enough and whether what they are doing has been an effort for peace. It is not yet clear whether they have done a brilliant or bad job. They have also been criticized for handling the pandemic, for example, in the face of China’s lack of transparency and willingness to cooperate, director Henrik Urdal of the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) tells NTB.

He also doesn’t believe in an award for Greta Thunberg, who was the favorite in both 2019 and 2020.

– No, I doubt it, although it makes a great effort.

– Should create a stir

The shortlist is mostly made up of relatively confident candidates. Some researchers believe that the time has come for an award that generates more buzz or buzz.

– Since 2012 there hasn’t been an award ceremony with a huge impact, perhaps with the exception of Malala Yousafzai in 2014, lead researcher Sverre Lodgaard from the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy (Nupi) tells NTB.

In 2012, the EU received the Nobel Peace Prize and there was a lot of chaos surrounding the controversial award.

Also three years earlier, there was a worldwide uproar when then-US President Barack Obama received the Peace Prize after only three-quarters of a year in the White House. Urdal doubts, however, that the Nobel Committee has chosen a highly controversial recipient this year.

– They probably have Abiy Ahmed’s post-award events so fresh in their minds that they are unlikely to go crazy this year. They squint at the need to enter a track where the winners already have something to show for it. The most controversial option would be Chinese dissidents, Urdal says.

Waiting for the crown situation

The Nobel Prize will be announced by the Nobel Institute on Friday, October 8 at 11 a.m.

It is not yet clear whether this year’s Peace Prize winner will be invited to Norway to participate in a traditional awards ceremony at Oslo City Hall, or whether the December 10 event will be digital.

Only in mid-October will the Norwegian Nobel Committee say something about the form the Nobel celebration will take.

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