Ahead of Nobel Peace Prize announcement, here are some key facts

Today, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 will be announced and the nominations of 318 candidates, including 211 individuals and 107 organizations will throw up finally the recipient who could be one of them or to be shared by two.

It is likely that an individual with organizational background on the lines of  2004 recipient Wangari Maathai’s green belt movement who led to the planting of more than 50 million trees, will be given this time going by hints provided the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. It means US President Donald Trump may not figure in the honour.

2020 Nobel Peace Prize nominations

There are 318 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, which is the fourth highest number of candidates ever. The current record of 376 candidates was reached in 2016. Ass per the practice, neither the names of nominators nor of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize may be divulged until 50 years have elapsed.

Process of nomination and selection

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. A nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any persons who are qualified to nominate. The list of qualified nominators was revised in Septembet 2016.

According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, a nomination is considered valid if it is submitted by a person who falls within one of the following categories:

  • Members of national assemblies and national governments (cabinet members/ministers) of sovereign states as well as current heads of states
  • Members of The International Court of Justice in The Hague and The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague
  • Members of l’Institut de Droit International
  • Members of the international board of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
    University professors, professors emeriti and associate professors of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, and religion; university rectors and university directors (or their equivalents); directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes
  • Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Members of the main board of directors or its equivalent of organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Current and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee (proposals by current members of the Committee to be submitted no later than at the first meeting of the Committee after 1 February)
  • Former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee
  • Unless otherwise stated the term members shall be understood as current (sitting) members.

Selection process

At the first meeting of the Nobel Committee after the February 1 deadline for nominations, the Committee’s Permanent Secretary presents the list of the year’s candidates. The Committee may on that occasion add further names to the list, after which the nomination process is closed, and discussion of the particular candidates begins. In the light of this first review, the Committee draws up the so-called short list – i.e. the list of candidates selected for more thorough consideration. The short list typically contains from twenty to thirty candidates.

The candidates on the short list are then considered by the Nobel Institute’s permanent advisers. In addition to the Institute’s Director and Research Director, the body of advisers generally consists of a small group of Norwegian university professors with broad expertise in subject areas with a bearing on the Peace Prize. The advisers usually have a couple of months in which to draw up their reports. Reports are also occasionally requested from other Norwegian and foreign experts.

When the advisers’ reports have been presented, the Nobel Committee embarks on a thorough-going discussion of the most likely candidates. In the process, the need often arises to obtain additional information and updates about candidates from additional experts, often foreign. As a rule, the Committee reaches a decision only at its very last meeting before the announcement of the Prize at the beginning of October.

The Committee seeks to achieve unanimity in its selection of the Peace Prize Laureate. On the rare occasions when this proves impossible, the selection is decided by a simple majority vote.

Secrecy criteria

The candidates eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize are those persons or organizations nominated by qualified individuals. A nomination for yourself will not be taken into consideration. The Committee does not itself announce the names of nominees, neither to the media nor to the candidates themselves.

In so far as certain names crop up in the advance speculations as to who will be awarded any given year’s Prize, this is either sheer guesswork or information put out by the person or persons behind the nomination. Information in the Nobel Committee’s nomination database is not made public until after 50 years.

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