U.S. President Barack Obama is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Surprising or not, the decision of the Nobel Committee has considered “efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.
President Barack Obama has less than one year when installed in the White House. This has led political analysts to consider the granting of the award rather a symbolic gesture and hope for the future actions of the White House. It is an encouraging signal for political change initiated by Barack Obama.
“Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened” stated in reasons of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Also, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader and a Nobel Prize winner himself, said: “I am happy. What Obama did during his presidency is a big signal, he gave a hope. In these hard times people who are capable of taking responsibility, who have a vision, commitment and political will should be supported”, quoted by Reuters.
The chief Palestinian peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, welcomed the award to Obama and expressed hope that “he will be able to achieve peace in the Middle East.”
Note that although it had strong opponent (Nicolas Sarkozy and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl), the Nobel Committee’s decision mattered action taken by Barack Obama in the Middle East peace process. Also for steps to combat poverty in Africa and steps to reduce nuclear arsenals (context in that remember reset U.S. – Russia bilateral relations, and negotiations on the Treaty Start 2, but also actions on Iran’s nuclear program).