7 Worst Nobel Peace Prize Winners

7 Worst Nobel Peace Prize Winners

      HEADLINES:

Winners who disappoint

      WHY IN NEWS:

Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to sitting prime ministers or presidents is inherently risky

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Awards

      ISSUE: 

WINNERS WHO DISAPPOINT

7 Worst Nobel Peace Prize Winners | UPSC

ETHIOPIA’S PRIME MINISTER ABIY AHMED

  • Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a large-scale military offensive against separatists in the restive Tigray province.

This led to the deaths of possibly thousands and forced tens of thousands to flee as refugees, a familiar disquiet arose across the world.

  • Until last year he was hailed as a beacon for democratising Ethiopia.
  • With ethnic tensions spiralling and Mr. Abiy resorting to violent means to manage the nationwide turbulence.

PRESIDENT JUAN MANUEL SANTOS OF COLOMBIA

  • There was similar heartburn over President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia failing to live up to ideals.

Mr. Santos won the Peace Prize in 2016 for ending the decades-long civil war with FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas.

  • Despite his image as a peacemaker, Mr. Santos’s presidency saw continuing paramilitary excesses .
  • He was also accused for rampant human rights violations and by agents of the state.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

  • Likewise, when the Nobel Committee gave the 2009 Peace Prize to U.S. President Barack Obama, it proved a controversial choice.

Shortly after receiving the Prize, Mr. Obama ordered an American troop surge in Afghanistan, deepening a bloody war.

  • In 2011, he also backed a disastrous military intervention in Libya and subsequently abandoned it when there was chaos.

MYANMAR’S AUNG SAN SUU KYI

  • Yet another much-maligned Nobel Peace Prize winner is Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • She was chosen in 1991 while in house arrest for her courageous activism against military dictatorship and her campaign for democracy.
  • She assumed the title of State Counsellor in 2016 under a power-sharing arrangement with the military in Myanmar.
  • She called for revoking her Prize echoed in international public discourse.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s decision to team up with the repressive armed forces at the ICJ against charges of genocide of the Rohingya triggered a global uproar.

  • Amnesty International slammed her for “shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for”.

PEACE PRIZE FOR EU

  • The peace prize was given to the EU “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

The European Union was dealing with the Greek debt crisis , several European countries make and sell weapons.

  • “Alfred Nobel said that the prize should be given to those who worked for disarmament,”
  • The EU doesn’t do that. It is one of the biggest weapons producers in the world.

7 Worst Nobel Peace Prize Winners

SOURCES : UN.ORG

KOFI ANNAN AND THE UNITED NATIONS

  • Annan expedited its decline in relevancy of UN today .

He was investigated in 2004 for improperly steering Iraq arms-for-food program contracts to his son.

  • Although he was technically cleared, it still indicated that Annan may have initially misled investigators.

YASSER ARAFAT, SHIMON PERES AND YITZAKH RABIN (1994)

  • This is another example of the prize’s short sightedness.
  • The Oslo accords signed seemed like a good idea at the time, but they merely proved another temporary stopgap in what remains the world’s longest-running conflict.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

  • It is unrealistic to expect Nobel Laureates running state machineries to behave like saints.
  • Giving the Nobel Prize to sitting prime ministers or presidents is inherently risky.
  • These recipients should not be held to the gold standard of a Mother Teresa or Malala Yousafzai.

If one adopts a less perfectionist lens, all the problematic Nobel Laureates have done some good and some harm.

  • Nobel Committee should consciously avoid picking incumbent politicians altogether in the future.
  • There will always be reasons to be dejected by such Laureates’ records in hindsight.
  • Understanding them in their political contexts and in particular moments may help us reach a balanced final judgment.

MAHATMA GANDHI 

  • The greatest omission in the prize’s history was never awarding the peace prize to the Indian political activist Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi was shortlisted five times (twice before World War II, then in 1946, 1947 and 1948).

  • The committee’s Euro-centric viewpoint and its failure to appreciate the struggle for freedom in colonies kept Gandhi from receiving the award.

“Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether the Nobel committee can do without Gandhi, is the question,”

Most awards are meaningless, but some are more meaningless than others.

SUGGESTED READING : NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2020 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | 7 Worst Nobel Peace Prize Winners | UPSC

 

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