To begin with, congratulations to Barack Obama on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. Obama received the award, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”And while there are some who feel the award may be premature, my belief is that this award is probably delivered at just the perfect time.
Is the award for things that Obama has already accomplished? Is it a recognition of Obama’s power to inspire people everywhere — coupled with his renewal of diplomacy as a means of moving the global conversation on peace forward? Or is there another agenda?
The Nobel committee many times awards the Peace Prize to people it believes can leverage the prize to further the agenda of peace — to add momentum, if you will, to efforts that are in-flight and may not have yet yielded dividends.
From the wikipedia entry on The Nobel Peace Prize:
However, others have pointed to the uniqueness of the Peace Prize in that its high profile can often focus world attention on particular problems and possibly aid in the peace-efforts themselves.
I believe it may be underestimated by many what impact this prize may have on the negotiations for peace that Obama will undertake in the coming years.
If this award allows him to be more effective in using diplomacy in the cause of peace over the next 3-7 years, then it will have a real and lasting impact — and I believe the committee is betting that will be the case.
I’m betting the same thing — for the sake of all who believe in the cause of peace.