News Release

Protests Against Betrayal of “Nobel’s Will”

Reuters reports today: “Around a thousand members of left-wing and human rights groups marched in Oslo on Sunday to protest against the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union. … Past prize winners Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire have also said the EU does not deserve the award.”

The three Peace Prize recipients recently wrote: “The European Union, announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee as the winner of the peace prize for 2012, clearly is not one of ‘the champions of peace’ Alfred Nobel had in mind when he described the purpose in his will. We ask the Board of the Foundation to clarify that it cannot and will not pay the prize from its funds. …The purpose of the peace prize is clarified by recent research. In 2008 Fredrik S. Heffermehl, a Norwegian lawyer and author and a former IPB [International Peace Bureau] Vice President, published the first known legal study of the prize and its purpose. In 2010 he published “The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted” (Praeger, 2010), with later updates in Chinese, Finnish and Swedish (Leopard, 2011).” See full text of their letter.

Author of “The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted,” Heffermehl said this morning on the program Democracy Now!: “The Prize has come to serve the exact opposite of what it was intended to serve … to support the work for breaking the military tradition and creating global peace or demilitarized global peace order. It’s a very radical idea.”
Heffermehl said today: “A summit of the European Union that today receives a prize that pretends to serve Alfred Nobel´s peace plan, will this coming Friday adopt a military cooperation program that spits in the face of the peace by disarmament ideas Nobel wished to support by his prize for a global demilitarization of international relations. … The peace movement Nobel wished to support has protested against the prize to the EU and — if the Swedish authorities fail to intervene and stop payment — is considering legal action against the Nobel Foundation in protection of their rights.

“Nobel wished to support the peace movement in political opposition to traditional official military and power politics. In his will Nobel calls the recipients the ‘champions of peace’ (fredsförfäktare, Friedensverfechter) no doubt having in mind the movement working for a demilitarized global peace order (eine entmilitarisierte ‘Völkerverbrüderung’).”

See full text of Nobel’s will, which calls for the Peace Prize to be awarded to those who have done the most “…for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”