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RPT-Navalny, WHO and Thunberg among nominees for Nobel...

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RPT-Navalny, WHO and Thunberg among nominees for Nobel Peace Prize

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg arrives for the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on August 20, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Two years on from her first school strike, 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg is meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel to deliver a petition letter calling for EU leaders to end investments in the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
By Reuters
01 Feb 2021 3

OSLO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, the World Health Organization and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg are among those nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, all backed by Norwegian lawmakers who have a track record of picking the winner.

* Belarus activists, freedom of information also in focus

* Rights groups in Eastern Europe nominated

* Fridays for Future, UNHCR, Trump, NATO also named

* Distribution of Nobel prizes: http://tmsnrt.rs/2y6ATVW

By Gwladys Fouche and Nora Buli

Thousands of people, from members of parliaments worldwide to former winners, are eligible to propose candidates. Nominations, which close on Sunday, do not imply an endorsement from the Nobel committee.

Norwegian lawmakers have nominated the eventual laureate every year since 2014, with the exception of 2019, said Henrik Urdal, Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo. “The pattern from recent years is quite stunning.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which decides who wins the award, does not comment on nominations, keeping secret for 50 years the names of nominators and unsuccessful nominees.

But nominators can choose to reveal their picks.

According to a Reuters survey of Norwegian lawmakers, nominees include Thunberg, Navalny, the WHO and its COVAX programme to secure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for poor countries.

Thunberg was named as one of “the foremost spokespeople in the fight against the climate crisis”, with the campaigning group she co-founded, Fridays for Future, also receiving a nod.

Navalny, nominated by Russian academics, was named for his “efforts for a peaceful democratisation of Russia” by Norwegian former minister Ola Elvestuen.

The battle against COVID-19 is front and centre, including a nomination for the GAVI vaccine alliance.

Other names are Belarusian activists Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kolesnikova and Veronika Tsepkalo for their “fight for a fair election and inspiration for peaceful resistance”, one nominator, Geir Sigbjoern Toskedal, said.

Another, Jette Christensen, also named the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights group, and IUSTITIA, a group of Polish judges defending civil rights.

“My nomination this year is … for the fight to preserve democracy as a form of government in Europe,” Christensen said.

Freedom of information is a recurring theme with nominees including the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists; former Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb el Rhazoui; news website Hong Kong Free Press, the U.S.-based International Fact-Checking Network and Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RSF).

Other nominees include former U.S. President Donald Trump, NATO and the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).

Also on the list is Aminatou Haidar, for her peaceful campaigning towards an independent Western Sahara, the International Space Station and the International Scout Movement.

The 2021 laureate will be announced in October.

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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All Comments 3

  • No comment on some of these nominations and hopefully they won’t get the time of day from the committee. The WHO nomination can wait until it has been proved that their call for the distribution of vaccines actually come true. Navalny’s nomination is extremely important and is the most immediate personal problem, climate change is for everyone to support but thuggery and loss of freedom is the most important.

  • There are a helluva lot more deserving people and organisations than this sorry lot. It appears as if the Nobel committee has bent over backwards to be “politically correct” rather than judicious and meritorious. To include the WHO is premature, to include Thunberg is a slap in the face to any serious researchers & other candidates, and the many of the rest appear to serious violent activists – anything but peaceful!

    • Please indulge me, why is it a slap in the face to nominate Thunberg? Does age and lack of “credentials” render an opinion non-operable?

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