Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

Nobel Peace Prize

by Lloyd on 09.10.09
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Just a quick note about the Nobel Peace Prize. Today they announced that the winner for the 2009 prize will be Barack Obama a president of the USA who has been in post for less than a year and was only in office for two months before he was nominated.

This is an interesting choice for the Nobel Committee, not mostly because he is so unproven. The committee has a history of awarding prizes soon after the event and has been criticized for acting too quickly and partisan.

I think that the comments in the Guardian today sum up some of the sentiment:

Michael Cox, a North America expert at the Chatham House thinktank, said: “It is difficult to see why it would be awarded to him at this stage in his presidency. There are problems in the Middle East and an ongoing war in Afghanistan. You could say it is a little bit premature. It is certainly a very interesting choice.

Time have even suggested that winning the prize may heart Obama burdening him in the years to come with an expectation that he can not, [or does not want to] achieve.

Looking forward to Obama in the next year has the committee spoken too soon. We are already starting to see how the US and other western states is using its power to manipulate the Climate Change Negotiations. John Vidal describes how these countries are ““fundamentally sabotage” the Kyoto protocol” in a statement from China and the G77 in Bangkok.

This is potentially very damaging, not only are we looking at the US taking the west off to separate negations which it can manipulate. The Obama administration is causing a schism between the West, led by the USA and the Global South led by China. This will do anything but increase world security.

But lets look at a more local level, because health care, social security in the USA is, in my view, just as important in creating culture of peace than a global politician gallivanting around the world espousing the virtues of the UN whilst sending his cronies to scupper international negotiations in Bangkok.

Here Obama seems to be trying to make headway, but the package which is slowly being riped to shreds the plans started out as less ambitions as Hillary Clinton’s plans in the 90s when her husband was in power.

Now for all this, Obama has in the past done some inspirations things. In Chicago, his work on the ground (as we learnt in CR last week level 3 work) has made some real changes to communities and the lives of young and old people alike. This is the problem, the Nobel committee dont mention any of that work in thir citation but the international globe trotting.

The say that Obama is worthy for his commitment to the UN, for his passion to get people around the table and talk, effectively for being an effective statesman. So he manages to negation on level 1 well, not fantastically but well. Iran is still producing more nuclear fuel and potentially weapons, Israel and Palestine has moved forward but there is little sign of peace right now and as i said before China is still spitting feathers at the USA.

So all in all a strange and maybe regrettable choice – maybe lets hope I am wrong!

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Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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