U.S. President Barack Obama's efforts advocating for a world without nuclear weapons, as well as his support for international diplomacy and institutions such as the United Nations, have earned him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced today.
"The Committee attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons," according to a committee press release issued Friday morning. "The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations."
In April, President Obama told a crowd of 20,000 in Prague that the U.S. had a "moral responsibility" to take the lead in ridding the world of nuclear weapons. He also noted in that speech, "Today, the Cold War has disappeared but thousands of those weapons have not. In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up."
The committee chose Obama to send a clear signal to the world that it want to advocate for international diplomacy, strengthen international institutions and work for a world without nuclear arms, Norwegian Nobel Committee President Thorbjørn Jagland said at the press conference to announce the Peace Prize winner. Jagland, who is also secretary general of the Council of Europe, added that the committee hopes the award will "enhance a little bit" Obama's peace efforts.