US President Barack Obama has won Nobel Peace Prize 2009 for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people”, said the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
The committee said: “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future… His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”
There were some speculation about Obama’s getting the award before but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to confer the prestigious award to the President.
The committee highlighted that it linked special importance to Obama’s vision and work for a world that is free from nuclear weapons.
“Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play,” it added.
There were a record 205 nominees for this year’s peace prize. Obama will receive the award on December 10. It includes a gold medal, a special diploma and 10 million Swedish kronor (1.4 million dollars).
Obama is the third sitting US President to be awarded the prize, following Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter won in 2002.