Number of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees Is Lowest in 4 Years

305 nominees, and we don't know much about them
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2023 11:20 AM CST
305 People Were Nominated for the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize
A Nobel medal is displayed during a ceremony in New York on Dec. 8, 2020. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Wednesday that 305 candidates—212 individuals and 93 organizations—were nominated for the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize by the Feb. 1 deadline.   (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP, File)

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Wednesday that 305 candidates were nominated for the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize by the Feb. 1 deadline, the lowest number in four years. The names of the 212 individuals and 93 organizations weren't released, reports the AP, in accordance with committee practice. The Oslo-based organization said there was a decrease from last year's 343 candidates, and that it was the lowest number of registered candidates since 2019. Over the last eight years, the number of annual candidates has exceeded 300, it said, adding that the provisional record was set in 2016 with 376. "Who nominates, and who is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is a secret for 50 years," the board in Oslo said in a statement.

A vast group of people can submit a nomination for the prize: heads of state or politicians serving at a national level, university professors, directors of foreign policy institutes, past Nobel Prize recipients, and members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. However, those doing the nominating may choose to make it public, raising publicity both for the nominee and the proposer. A few we do know:

  • Norwegian lawmaker Lan Marie Nguyen Berg of the Green Party nominated two climate activists, Greta Thunberg of Sweden and Ugandan Vanessa Nakate, "for enormous mobilization" in their continents. Thunberg has been nominated four times, including last year when the prize went to human rights activists from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
  • On Feb. 1, the director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Henrik Urdal, short-listed human rights activists as his favorites to win the 2023 award. They included Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian human rights activist, and Mahbouba Seraj, an Afghan women's rights activist; Myanmar's representative to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun; and the Netherlands-based International Court of Justice, among others. Urdal noted that 2023 was the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that his list "reflects a timely and worthy focus on human rights defenders and activists."
(More Nobel Peace Prize stories.)

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