Kofi Annan: Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize

Vienna, 26 February 1998/MS/15826/c-is

Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his successful peace mission to Baghdad. Through his deep moral commitment and skillful diplomacy Mr. Annan has succeeded in averting major conflict and conflagration in the whole Middle East. By his action he helped re-establish the United Nations' credibility as a global organization that is committed to peace and human rights.

The nomination of Mr. Annan has been submitted to the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament by the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, in his capacity as University Professor of Philosophy. According to the Statute of the Nobel Foundation, professors of philosophy ex officio have the right of nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the nomination letter Mr. Annan's courageous action is hailed as a rare example of masterful diplomacy in a situation where war seemed almost inevitable. As the highest civil servant of the world, Kofi Annan perfectly understood the mechanisms of power politics in the Security Council. In spite of unilateral preparations of war by parties driven by "national interests," through his moral vision the Secretary-General of the United Nations was able to tame the war machinery of the most powerful member state of the Security Council for the sake of a negotiated settlement. By addressing the issue of UN sanctions, Mr. Annan has shown compassion for the suffering people of Iraq and has brought a moral dimension into the brute realities of power politics in the present international system.

There is no doubt that Mr. Annan's success as a peace-keeper has been made possible by the decisive diplomatic efforts of the Russian Federation and of France. As permanent members of the Security Council, those countries gave the Secretary-General the political backing that provided the necessary margin for his independent action.

It is expected that members of Parliament from UN member states on all continents will support Mr. Annan's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.