Nobel Peace Prize Gets a Record 205 Nominees for 2009

Nominations for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize totaled a record 205, the largest group of potential winners put forward in the award’s 108-year history, reports Bloomberg on Feb. 27.

Alfred Nobel. Picture sometime around 1890. Photo © The Nobel Foundation.

Alfred Nobel. Picture sometime around 1890. Photo © The Nobel Foundation.

Of the nominees, 33 are organizations and the rest individuals. This is the highest number of nominations ever. The last record was in 2005 when the Committee received 199 nominations.

“This shows the growing interest,” said Geir Lundestad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute to In the 1970s the Committee only had 40 or 50 nominations. “There are all kinds of names this year, those who are famous and those who aren’t that famous. They come from all over the world and cover all fields from human rights, humanitarian areas to arms control,” said Lundestad.

While the institute keeps nominees’ names secret for 50 years, the process of submitting candidates can lead to the disclosure of potential winners. Members of national assemblies and governments, international courts, university rectors, as well as active and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are among those who can suggest nominees, reports

The winner is picked by the six-member Norwegian Nobel Committee and typically announced in mid-October. The Norwegian Nobel Committee hosts the Nobel Peace Prize Concert each year in honor of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of the year.

In 2008 The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Martti Ahtisaari for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts. “These efforts have contributed to a more peaceful world and to ‘fraternity between nations’ in Alfred Nobel’s spirit,” the committee stated.

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