FORMER US president Donald Trump is a surprise nominee for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize after the committee behind drawing up the final shortlist published five names this morning which included Mr Trump.
On January 6, Mr Trump attracted worldwide opprobrium and condemnation after spurring on his supporters to attack the US Congress and disrupt the confirmation of election results. Mr Trump had been defeated by incumbent President Joe Biden in last November’s presidential elections but has refused to accept the results and maintains until today that he won.
This morning the Nobel Peace Prize committee named its final shortlist of five for the 2021 edition that will be announced in October, with Mr Trump being the shock inclusion. Last year’s Nobel prize was won by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for his efforts to resolve a border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
There was a large number of nominees for 2021, made up of 210 individuals and 107 organisations. After painstaking deliberation, the Nobel Prize committee finally agreed a list of five that apart from Mr Trump, included Swedish teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the World Health Organisation and Black Lives Matter.
Ms Thunberg, born on January 3, 2003, is the second youngest person to be nominated for the prize after Malala Yousafzaiwas who won the 2014 edition. She is prominent for her challenge to world leaders for failing to take adequate action on climate change and spoke at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
President Trump was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in creating a peaceful relationship between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in 2020. A few more Arab countries have joined the peace accord with Israel.
Mr Navalny for his party gained prominence for staging protests against corruption in his country, with the Wall Street Journal describing him as the man Vladimir Putin fears most. A lawyer, he uses his social media channels with millions of followers to publish allegations of corruption against the Russian government, that has seen him arrested several times.
For its part, the World Health Organisation earned a nomination as a result of its Covax programme which provides secure fair access to Covid-19 vaccines for poor countries. Covax is aimed at accelerating the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines and also to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
Norwegian member of parliament Petter Eide nominated Black Lives Matter (BLM) because it is bringing forward a new consciousness and awareness about racial justice. BLM says its mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. It also said it is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.