The Nobel Peace Prize and how it’s chosen

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the most recognized awards that a person could receive in their lifetime. It is a tremendous honor to receive, but most people are unaware of the history behind it.

The Nobel Peace Prize started as a will for the late Alfred Nobel. Alfred Nobel was an extremely successful and popular Swedish businessman who bequeathed his fortune to be divided into five awards: physics, chemistry, philosophy or medicine, literature and peace. He established that whoever won the award would be considered the best example and influence in the given field. According to, “the Nobel Peace Prize was to be awarded ‘to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.’” As interesting and impressive as the history of this prize is, most people don’t even know how the nomination process works.

For starters, you can’t nominate yourself. Candidates nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize are called laureates, and for them to be nominated, the right people have to nominate them. Those people come from a vast array of different organizations including the Norwegian Nobel Committee, university professors, members of the International Court of Justice and members of national assemblies and governments, as well as people who have already won the award in the past. If any of these people nominate you, you are now eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize. Once the nomination period passes, the committee reviews those who were nominated.

The committee that observes and selects nominees is the Norwegian Nobel Committee. They are also the ones who hand out the award. The process of reviewing and selecting out of the laureates runs from February to March, then they decide on a final laureate in October and announce the winner in December. When the winning laureate is announced, there is a ceremony held in Stockholm, Sweden.

It is a great honor to be nominated and receive the Nobel Peace Prize. There are a great number of historical figures that changed the world who were nominated or received the awards including Malala Yousafzai, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. Recently, Greta Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism on the topic of climate change.

Photo: M. Henriques


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