Today, October 9, 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to President Barack Obama. He is the third sitting President in American history to receive the award, followed by Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. President Jimmy Carter also won the prize but not while he was in office serving as President.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated,
“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.”
Additionally, they explained,
World leaders have warmly congratulated President Obama, applauding the Nobel Committee for their unanimous choice even though President Obama has been in office for less than a year.
Here is a sampling of reaction from the world community:
“I congratulate you on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I am convinced that it is the right decision, which significantly reinforces our family of Nobel laureates,” Gorbachev said in a letter to Obama published on the Gorbachev Foundation website.
“Your efforts have helped to bring about a significant change in the international climate. I feel close affinity to your vision of the global world and of relations among nations. Implementing it will require strong will, statesmanship and mastery of communication. It will also require support from Americans and from men and women of good will throughout the world,” Gorbachev said.
“What wonderful recognition of someone who has already made such an impact on our planet with regards to the Muslim world, nuclear disarmament, climate change and, to some extent, the Middle East. He has reached out to the Arab world, including Iran, and North Korea.
“In a way, it’s an award – coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young President – that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all. It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.
“The prize is a magnificent endorsement for the first African American President in history, who will become the first serving American President to receive the Nobel Peace Prize since Woodrow Wilson 90 years ago, for his role in founding the League of Nations.
“The Nelson Mandela Foundation, on behalf of its Founder Nelson Mandela, welcomes the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama.We trust that this award will strengthen his commitment, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to continue promoting peace and the eradication of poverty.”
I would like to wholeheartedly welcome and congratulate United States President Barack Obama on winning the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. This is great news for President Obama, for the people of the United States, and for the United Nations. We are entering an era of renewed multilateralism, a new era where the challenges facing humankind demand global common cause and uncommon global effort. President Obama embodies the new spirit of dialogue and engagement on the world’s biggest problems: climate change, nuclear disarmament and a wide range of peace and security challenges. President Obama’s commitment to work through the United Nations gives the world’s people fresh hope and fresh prospects. We at the United Nations highly applaud him, and the Nobel Committee for its choice. I look forward to further deepening the United States-United Nations partnership as a key building block to a better and safer world for all. Again, I send my deepest and wholehearted congratulations to President Obama. I wish him continued success.
“President Obama is working to restore American leadership worldwide and build bonds of friendship across the globe. The Nobel Peace Prize is a testament to his leadership and vision and a tribute to American values. I offer my congratulations to President Obama on this outstanding achievement.”