Here are the favorites to win the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize
Jhe Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced at 11 a.m. local time on Friday in Oslo, Norway.
The Peace Prize is one of six prizes created by Swedish chemist (and inventor of dynamite) Alfred Nobel in 1895. The prize is considered the broadest in its recognition, given that it rewards people” which have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind”. The other five reward contributions in literature, physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine and economics.
The winner is selected by the five-person Norwegian Nobel Committee, which is appointed by the Norwegian Parliament.
According to a Reuters investigation, Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, British nature broadcaster David Attenborough, the World Health Organization, environmental activist Greta Thunberg, Pope Francis, Tuvalu’s foreign minister Simon Kofe and Myanmar’s national unity government are among those named by Norwegian lawmakers. Legislators are used to picking the eventual winner.
Below is a list of some of the favorites up for grabs, based on nominations made public by Norwegian lawmakers, bookmakers’ predictions and picks from the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and .
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was on the 2022 TIME 100 list, is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the peace prize. After Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Zelensky remained firm in Kyiv. He recorded a simple message saying, “We are here… We are in Kyiv. We protect Ukraine.
Zelensky has since repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s actions on the world stage and urged international allies to punish the Kremlin for its aggression. He’s had his share of close quarters escapes; when war broke out, Russian troops were only minutes away from finding him and his family. And more than seven months after the outbreak of the conflict – and after Russia annexed parts of Ukraine – Zelensky continues to defend the country.
The United Nations Refugee Agency
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been at the forefront of crisis response in Ukraine and Afghanistan, providing cash assistance and relief items to people in need.
The war in Ukraine has led to more than 7.2 million Ukrainian refugees across Europe since February 24 and more than 6.9 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, according to the UN. This is the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. In recent years, UNHCR has also led humanitarian responses to the Syrian war and the Mediterranean migrant crisis. The agency has already received the Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981.
Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has been living in exile since running against Alexander Lukashenko in the country’s 2020 presidential election. Lukashenko claimed victory despite concerns that the election was unfair and widespread belief that the results put Tsikhanouskaya ahead of him.
Tsikhanouskaya did not always intend to enter politics. She was a full-time mother who planned to resume her career as an English teacher until May 2020, when Belarusian authorities arrested her husband, ending his presidential campaign. That’s when she stepped in. Her candidacy has galvanized many Belarusians and women in particular. After Lukashenko claimed victory two years ago, he ordered security forces to violently suppress the protests. Protests against Lukashenko’s regime have continued since, and Tsikhanouskaya has continued to play a key role in challenging the president and authorities by calling for fair elections and an end to violence.
Tsikhanouskaya was on the 2021 TIME100 Next list, which honors emerging leaders who are shaping the future.
The World Health Organization
For nearly three years, the World Health Organization has been at the forefront of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, he received praise for providing money, vaccines and materials to help contain the disease around the world. The WHO-backed COVAX program, which focuses on the poorest countries, has so far delivered more than 1.7 billion vaccines to 146 countries.
But the UN agency has also been criticized for a series of missteps. Among them: a week-long delay in declaring the outbreak in China an international emergency, conflicting statements about asymptomatic spread and a lack of urgency in advising people to wear masks to reduce transmission in the early stages of the epidemic.
The WHO was also seen as a favorite to win the peace prize in 2020 and 2021.
Imprisoned Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny has been a key figure in the fight for democratic reform. In 2011, Navalny established the Anti-Corruption Foundation to investigate senior Russian officials for corruption. For years, he has worked to hold Putin’s regime – as well as its allied oligarchs – accountable.
Navalny’s job has taken a toll on his personal safety and freedom. He survived an assassination attempt in 2020, when he was poisoned by a nerve agent. Despite the danger to his life, he returned to Russia after living briefly in Germany while recovering.
Navalny also has criticism from the liberal side. Amnesty International stripped Navalny of his “prisoner of conscience” status after receiving numerous complaints about xenophobic comments he made that appeared to compare immigrants to cockroaches.
Navalny has been recognized on the 2021 TIME100 list.
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunburg, TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year, kept up the pressure on world powers to do more to tackle the climate crisis. Thunberg has long spoken of a “lack of action” on climate change.
In 2021, she called the COP26 climate summit a “failure”, saying it hadn’t done enough to drastically reduce CO2 emissions. More recently, she took aim at Swedish politicians, saying they were ignoring the climate crisis ahead of national elections in September.
Thunberg shot to fame in 2018 after starting a movement of students around the world to protest in support of action to tackle the climate crisis. The 19-year-old is considered one of the favorites to win the Peace Prize every year since 2019.
Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe has made it a key part of his mission to tackle the climate crisis. Rising seas are a significant threat to sinking Pacific islands like Tuvalu, which is the fourth smallest country in the world and made up of nine small islands.
Kofe delivered his speech at COP26 while knee-deep in the ocean to show how global warming and rising sea levels are impacting the island nation. Kofe pulled out of this year’s UN Ocean Conference to protest China’s decision to block Taiwanese delegates.
David Attenborough, 95, is most beloved for his iconic voice and award-winning nature series, including life on earth and The blue planet. His works have intimately showcased wildlife and nature for many decades. More recently, Attenborough spoke at the UN and the World Economic Forum to advocate for tackling the climate crisis.
Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair
Journalists Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair, co-founders of India’s fact-checking site AltNews, are tirelessly fighting misinformation in India, where the Hindu nationalist BJP party is accused of frequently fueling discrimination against Muslims. Sinha and Zubair methodologically debunked rumors and fake news circulating on social media and denounced hate speech.
Indian authorities arrested Zubair in June for a meme he tweeted four years ago. Journalists from around the world condemned the arrest and argued that it was retribution for his fact-checking work. “It is evident that AltNews’ vigilance has been felt by those who use misinformation as a tool to polarize society and inflame nationalist sentiments,” said a June 28 statement from the Editors Guild of India. The Committee to Protect Journalists also called for Zubair’s release, pointing to his arrest as “another low for press freedom in India, where the government has created a hostile and dangerous environment for members of the press dealing with sectarian issues”.
National Unity Government of Myanmar
Myanmar’s national unity government became a shadow government after the country’s military arrested Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup last February. The military accused her of breaking COVID-19 rules and corruption. More than 1,000 people have been killed since his arrest. Thousands more have been arrested for protesting military rule.
Myanmar’s government of national unity is made up of elected officials who oppose military rule; many remain in exile. Myanmar’s military ruled with a heavy hand, perpetuating genocide against Rohingya Muslims and suppressing nationwide protests calling for democratic reform.
The bookmakers also mention Uyghur activist Ilham Tohti, Hong Kong pro-democracy lawyer Nathan Law Kwun-chung, the Kyiv Independent, the European Council for Human Rights and the Center for Action and Strategies not applied violence (CANVAS).
The Oslo Peace Research Institute, which studies peaceful relations between states, groups and people, publishes an annual personal list for the Peace Prize. This year, their choices for the award included other names and groups, such as Indian activist Harsh Mander, International Court of Justice, Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow Ting and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) .
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