30. 11. 2012

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and two other Nobel Peace Prize winners say European Union is not worthy of being given the award

Three Nobel Peace Prize winners have blasted the decision to give this year’s award to the European Union.

In an open letter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Northern Ireland’s Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina say that the EU is ‘clearly not one of the “champions of peace” Alfred Nobel had in mind’ when he created the prize in 1895.
They insist the 27-nation bloc’s values do not match those associated with the prize, and say the prize money of £750,000 should  be withheld.

Stating that the EU condones ‘security based on military force and waging wars rather than insisting on the need for an alternative approach’, they add that it has failed to ‘realise Nobel’s demilitarised global peace order’.

‘The Norwegian Nobel committee has redefined and remodelled the prize in a manner that is not consistent with the law,’ their letter asserts, adding that the committee should respect the original wishes of the prize’s founder, who died in 1896.

The trio behind the letter are among the award’s most respected winners.

The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, now 81, rose to fame in the 1980s as an outspoken opponent of apartheid in South Africa. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
M rs Maguire, 68, won the 1976 prize for  her ‘Women for Peace’ marches during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In recent years she has also been a noted critic of Israel’s policy towards Gaza.

Mr Esquivel, 81, is a pacifist, painter and sculptor who won  the 1980 award for his defence  of human rights against the Argentine junta.

Their letter was also signed by the Geneva-based International Peace Bureau, which won the award in 1910, and several authors, lawyers and peace activists.
Announcing this year’s award in October, the committee hailed the EU for transforming Europe ‘from a continent of war to a continent of peace’ in the decades following the Second World War. The controversial decision came as a surprise amid Europe’s crippling economic crisis. But while acknowledging Europe’s current financial problems and social unrest, Nobel committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said the decision was to herald six decades of advancing ‘peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights’. (Daily Mail, London)

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