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Norwegian lawmakers reveal nominees for 2022 Nobel Peace Prize

Pope Francis

Oslo, Feb. 1, 2022

Norwegian lawmakers who had a track record of picking winners of Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday, announced names it nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

Among the nominees were British nature broadcaster, David Attenborough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Belarusian dissident, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

Also among the candidates for the accolade were Greta Thunberg, Pope Francis, the Myanmar National Unity Government formed by opponents of the 2021 coup and Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister, Simon Kofe.

Thousands of people, from members of parliament’s worldwide to former winners, are eligible to propose candidates.

Norwegian lawmakers had nominated an eventual Peace laureate every year since 2014 – with the exception of 2019 – including one of the two laureates in 2021, Maria Ressa.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which decided who won the award, did not comment on nominations, keeping secret for 50 years, the names of nominators and unsuccessful nominees.

However, some nominators like Norwegian lawmakers chose to reveal their picks.

Attenborough, 95, was best known for his landmark television series illustrating the natural world, including “Life on Earth” and “The Blue Planet”.

He was nominated jointly with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which assessed the state of biodiversity worldwide for policymakers.

They were put forward for “their efforts to inform about, and protect, Earth’s natural diversity, a prerequisite for sustainable and peaceful societies,” said nominator Une Bastholm, the leader of the Norwegian Green Party.

Another Green Party representative nominated Sweden’s Greta Thunberg, whose rise from teen activist to global climate leader, made her a frequent Nobel nominee in recent years, along with the Fridays For Future movement she started.

Pope Francis was nominated for his efforts to help solve the climate crisis as well as his work toward peace and reconciliation, by Dag Inge Ulstein, a former minister of international development.

Tuvalu’s foreign minister, Simon Kofe was nominated by the leader of Norway’s Liberal Party, Guri Melby, for his work in highlighting climate change issues.

Kofe filmed a speech to last year’s COP26 climate conference standing knee-deep in seawater.

Environmentalists had won the Nobel Peace Prize in the past, including Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore.

The coronavirus pandemic had been front and centre of people’s concerns over the past two years and this year, the international body tasked with fighting it, the WHO, had again been nominated.

“I think the WHO is likely to be discussed in the committee for this year’s prize,” said Urdal.

The Myanmar National Unity Government, a shadow government formed last year by opponents of military rule after civilian leader and former peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was also named as a candidate.

Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was nominated for the second year running for her “brave, tireless and peaceful work” for democracy and freedom in her home country, said parliamentarian Haarek Elvenes.

Other nominees revealed by Norwegian lawmakers were jailed Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning, NATO, aid organisation CARE, Iranian human rights activist Masih Alinejad and the Arctic Council.

Nominations, which closed on Monday, did not imply an endorsement from the Nobel committee.

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