Nobel Foundation – Request for Injunction against EU Prize
NOBEL LAUREATES, 12 Nov 2012
Oslo, November 12, 2012
The County Board of Stockholm
1. Request for an injunction against payment of peace prize for the EU
In my letter to Länsstyrelsen on Oct. 7, 2012, I quoted startling remarks from the Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Geir Lundestad, that the Norwegian Committee is not willing to pay attention neither to the will of Alfred Nobel nor to the law and the March 21, 2012, decision of the Länsstyrelsen.
The selection of the EU for the 2012 prize demonstrates a firm determination to ignore the conditions of the Länsstyrelsen for shelving its investigation.
In a letter to the Nobel Foundation of October 5, 2012, the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the 1910 Nobel laureate, with legal standing in the case, objected and held that the Nobel Foundation is legally barred from paying the prize to the EU. The Norwegian Nobel secretary Lundestad´s immediate comment was this: “”These viewpoints have been presented several times, they are well known and won’t impact the evolution of the prize,” Geir Lundestad told AFP.”” The remark is manipulative, apt to seduce many into believing that the committee has responded earlier, and leaves no doubt that the IPB protest will not have any effect without an injunction is necessary to avoid further waywardness.
In my book, The Nobel Peace Prize. What Nobel Really Wanted (and other, see nobelwill.org), I have shown by unambiguous evidence what Nobel intended. His purpose was to support the “champions of peace,” further describe in the will as the persons who hold that true security can only be achieved if all nations come together in agreement on a plan for universal disarmament, what Nobel called “creating the fraternity of nations.” Both the EU and the Norwegian Nobel committee have an attitude to the role of the military in international affairs that is the direct opposite of what Nobel intended to support.
The purpose of the will is simple, clear and easy to understand, but the committee, has for decades not been willing to read it, displaying a brazen disrespect for the legal mandate that cannot be permitted to continue.
There are three main reasons for demanding the Länsstyrelsen to intervene with an injunction:
- Nobel had a visionary understanding of the need to free the world from arms races and national military forces. In my books I describe why this is essential for humanity to survive and prosper.
- It is unconscionable for the Norwegian majority politicians, condoning militarism, to lay their hands on entrusted funds given to support the dissidents in the peace movement worldwide.
- The Nobel Committee chair and some members are obsessed with the EU. Defeated in two referendums and with, today, a 75% majority opposed to EU membership, they have used the Nobel prize as revenge against a recalcitrant population, misusing the prize to promote their own political project rather than serving the global peace vision Nobel described in his will.
Art. 2.14 of the Foundations Act requires the Länsstyrelsen to act (“shall intervene”) in such cases and, referring to the IPB protest (and as a former Vice President), I hereby request an injunction to stop payment of a prize to the EU from Nobel Foundation funds.
BACKGROUND – FURTHER ARGUMENTS:
2. Unauthorized transformation of Nobel´s will and nature of the peace prize
For five years the Norwegian awarders have stonewalled all honest discussion of the legal issues and documentation in my books on Nobel´s intention insisting that it is legitimate to pursue a “broad concept of peace. There is no disagreement here, I would be the last to contest that peace work must be broad. But Nobel specified a course of action that went to the heart of the problem of ending wars.
Nobel expected Norway´s Parliament to appoint a committee that would with dedicated enthusiasm promote his specific vision of peacemaking. Instead Parliament uses the committee as a retirement bonus for its own ranks, resulting in Nobel committees directly opposed to the purpose they were supposed to serve.
The Norwegian committee should every year be able to declare in good faith: “For achievements x, y, z, this person is the one of Nobel´s champions of peace who has done the most or the best work for creating a global system of demilitarized nations.” Instead the committee insists on ignoring Nobel simply asking: “Who has done the most for peace?” For five years the Nobel Committee has declined to respond to my two key questions:
- Isn´t reading a will to find out what the testator intended to achieve?
- Who were the “champions of peace,” what was it Nobel wished to support?
Using an unspecified concept of “peace” the Norwegian awarders have in actual fact – without proper authorization – changed the purpose and started to use Nobel´s money as their own. This is a serious mismanagement of entrusted funds that can no longer be permitted to continue.
3. Nobel secretaries do not intend to comply with the law
The March 21, 2012, decision of the Länsstyrelsen has not led to the required changes, no examination of the purposes described in the testament has been instituted, no will to give instructions or control the legitimacy of award decisions and to consider the Board responsible for all decisions has been visible.
A main obligation of Geir Lundestad, as secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, is to help the changing committees understand and respect the legal mandate. A quote from Heffermehl, The Nobel Peace Prize, page 78, amounts to a clear admission that Lundestad neither reads nor considers the will:
“Repeatedly, the committee shows in plain language that it considers itself free to shape a ‘‘peace prize’’ as it likes. An article by Lundestad on the Peace Prize from 1901 to 2000 is particularly revealing: In Lundestad’s view, the prize would not have been such a success had it not been for the decent, even highly respectable, record [of] selections over these 100 years. One important element of this record has been the committee’s broad definition of peace, enough to take in virtually any relevant field of peace work. . . although the Norwegian Nobel committee never formally defined ‘‘peace,’’ in practice it came to interpret the term ever more broadly. [Emphasis added.]
This shows the secretary unaware of Nobel´s own description of the purpose and its legal significance. His conventional worldview combined with disregard for the legal mandate has made Lundestad particularly unsuited for his job and a main explanation for the steady decline in respect for Nobel and his peace ambition.
After the Länsstyrelsen order requiring respect for the Nobel purpose, Lundestad has entertained plans to change the legislation, in order to make the committee free to use the Nobel name as it pleases, see my Oct. 7 letter to the Länsstyrelsen. However, everyone has to obey the law until it might be changed, and, furthermore, the idea that the Swedish Parliament could pass legislation that would retroactively invalidate Nobel´s testament appears plainly bizarre.
4. Nobel was a visionary innovator
My motive for pursuing this case is that I consider the peace vision of Nobel a matter of imperative urgency for survival of life on the planet. The military abomination has to be corrected. Global military spending per year now amounts to USD 1,74 trillion (SIPRI figure for 2011) and yet, we never were more insecure. Arms races and military technology development continues, use of drones, depleted uranium weapons, DIME weapons, space weapons, the remote control electronic battlefield, a distinct remilitarization of international affairs, the long line of wars… this has to stop. Today preemptive wars undermine the UN Charter main purpose – all member nations must abstain from the use of military force (Art. 2.4). On top of it all nuclear arsenals threaten to wipe all life off the globe in a matter of hours.
Conventional persons look at the world as it is and say that the peace vision of Nobel cannot be realized. Nobel was not conventional, but able to see what would be beneficial to the world as a whole. Unfortunately today´s Norwegian awarders are unable to imagine such a leap, lifting civilization to the international level.
People not seeing the necessity of this and still believing in security by military force are clearly unsuited and disqualified to serve the visionary Nobel.
5. The 2012 prize ignores the idea of a global system of demilitarized nations
Nobel was not satisfied with cessation of hostilities and subsequent repair; he wished to prevent wars from breaking out through “the fraternity of nations.”
It would be good form for the Norwegian committee announcing winners to explain the purpose and how the winner has contributed. Announcing the 2012 prize the committee once again pretended that the Nobel is just another unspecified prize for “peace”
There is plenty material to show that the EU of 2011-12 is disqualified, seeing increasing military forces as component of world affairs. As the EU Commission President, Romano Prodi said on the 13/2/01 to the EU Parliament: “Are we all clear that we want to build something that can aspire to be a world power?”
A conspicuous example disqualifying the EU for Nobel´s prize is that it considers itself free follow its own evaluation and go to war without authorization from the UN Security Council. The EU common foreign and security policy (CFSP) builds on traditional military ideas and the EU promotes military development, production, procurement, exports through many of its agreements and bodies, such as the the Military committee, the European Defense Agency (EDA), Mutual Solidarity and Defense, EU battle groups, EU rapid deployment force etc.
There is no need to elaborate further. The decisive point is that I am not aware of any proclamation that the EU is committed to the peace ideas described by Nobel, creating a global system of demilitarized nations.
6. Urgent decision necessary
There is no sign that the Nobel Foundation and the Norwegian Nobel Committee will comply without express orders from the Länsstyrelsen to do so.
Referring to the IPB request of Oct. 5  I hereby urge the Länsstyrelsen to urgently intervene with an injunctive to stop payment of the prize to the European Union.
Fredrik S. Heffermehl, cand. jur, LLM NYU, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network and ex-Vice President of the International Peace Bureau. He is the author of The Nobel Peace Prize, What Nobel Really Wanted (Praeger, 2010) email@example.com – http://www.nobelwill.org.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 12 Nov 2012.
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