LONDON: History was made on Friday when an Indian and a Pakistani national jointly shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014.
India’s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzay were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “showing great personal courage” and their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.
The committee said Kailash Satyarthi maintained Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition and headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain. He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights”.
“Children must go to school and not be financially exploited. In the poor countries of the world, 60% of the present population is under 25 years of age. It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation,” The committee said.
Talking about Malala, it said “Despite her youth, Malala has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education”.
The struggle against suppression and for the rights of children and adolescents contributes to the realization of the “fraternity between nations” that Alfred Nobel mentions in his will as one of the criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Institute in Oslo saw a record 278 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. Around 47 of these were organizations. The committee had said that 278 is the highest number of candidates ever. The previous record was 259 from 2013. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 124 Laureates – to 100 individuals and 24 organizations till now. Since the International Committee of the Red Cross was awarded three times and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded twice there are 100 individuals and 21 organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – an international organisation working since 1997 to convince countries to give up chemical weapons besides checking and confirming the destruction of existing chemical weapons had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. OPCW had been tirelessly monitoring activities in the chemical industry to reduce the risk of commercial chemicals being misused for weapons purposes, providing assistance and protection to member countries if they are attacked or threatened with attack by chemical weapons, including by terrorists and promoting international cooperation for the peaceful uses of chemistry. OPCW is presently overseeing the destruction’s of Syria’s arsenal and aim to help destroy Syria’s chemical weapons production facilities and weapons-filling equipment.