I Do Not Support the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 to the European Union
NOBEL LAUREATES, 15 Oct 2012
Alfred Nobel was a visionary who believed in a demilitarized peaceful world. In his Will he left his Nobel Peace Prize to those who would work for ‘fraternity among nations’, ‘abolition or reduction of standing armies’, and ‘holding and promotion of peace congresses’.
In Nobel’s Will the award for Peace was to go to Champions of Peace, those working to replace militarism with an international order based on law, and the abolition of national military forces. Nobel’s vision and dream was to replace the power of militarism and war with the power of law. I believe the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union does not meet the criteria of Alfred Nobel’s vision and spirit of a demilitarized peaceful world.
In many ways the European Union has done much in the past sixty years for peace and reconciliation amongst nations, but it has sadly done little for the demilitarization of Europe.
Whilst the EU imposes severe austerity measures upon many EU countries, it simultaneously supports the growing militarisation of Europe through support for US/NATO (guilty of war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.). It continues to support the policies of American nuclear weapons deployed to six EU States. It supports arms sales from European States (UK, Germany, etc.) to countries all around the world. The EU, instead of upholding human rights for countries such as Palestine, has rewarded Israel with a special trading status and huge grants (EU taxpayer’s money) for its military research and weapons thus enabling it to continue its illegal policies of occupation and Apartheid in Palestine.
I cannot support the decision to give the peace prize to the EU and appeal to the Swedish Foundation Authority to hold the Norwegian Nobel Committee accountable for giving, yet again, a political award instead of supporting those who take courageous, and often dangerous stands to help move the human family away from military international relations to one based on peaceful resolution of conflict.
I believe that the reform of the Nobel Peace Committee is now necessary; as is the case with all other Nobel Prizes Committees, which are made-up of experts in their particular fields. Perhaps it is time too for the NPP Committee to be comprised of people experienced in the field of Peacemaking and International Law.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 15 Oct 2012.
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