The Nobel Peace Prize and UN


The United Nations (UN)

Support for organized cooperation between states and for the build-up of a global organization has been an important guideline for the Nobel Committee throughout its history. It therefore came as no surprise that the United Nations was favored on the occasion of the Peace Prize centenary in 2001, together with the organization’s Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In previous years the Committee had agreed on a total of thirteen Laureates with connections with the United Nations.

The United Nations Organization was planned by the allies, with the United States in the lead, during World War II, and in 1945 it replaced the League of Nations as a forum for safeguarding world peace. Disagreements between the great powers made it impossible to establish a supranational armed force under UN auspices that could be put into action against violators of the peace. In its early years the organization’s efforts were concentrated instead on overcoming poverty and the promotion of economic and social development. Since 1970 the advancement of human rights has been an increasingly important United Nations concern.

Copyright © The Norwegian Nobel Institute

To cite this section 
MLA style: United Nations – Facts. Nobel Media AB 2019. Mon. 8 Apr 2019. <>

In 70 years, the United Nations, its specialised agencies, related agencies, funds, programmes and staff were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize eleven times. One agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) received the famous prize in both 1954 and 1981.

Two Secretaries-General, Kofi Annan and Dag Hammarskjöld, were also honoured for their work by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. After being awarded the prize jointly with the world body, Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2001 told UN staff he hoped that winning the prize “will urge us forward and encourage all of us to tackle our tasks with even greater determination”.

“For one hundred years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to strengthen organized cooperation between states. The end of the cold war has at last made it possible for the U.N. to perform more fully the part it was originally intended to play. Today the organization is at the forefront of efforts to achieve peace and security in the world, and of the international mobilization aimed at meeting the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges….[The] Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes in its centenary year to proclaim that the only negotiable route to global peace and cooperation goes by way of the United Nations.”

The Norwegian Nobel Institute 

Oslo, 12 October, 2001

The will Alfred Nobel made in 1895 was inspired by belief in the community of man. The Peace Prize was to be awarded to the person who had done most for “fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2001 was awarded jointly to United Nations (U.N.) and Kofi Annan “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.”

To cite this section 
MLA style: The Nobel Peace Prize 2001. Nobel Media AB 2019. Mon. 8 Apr 2019. <>

TeRra Han


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