The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced today that former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari has won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. The committee cited Ahtisaari's "significant" part in establishing Namibia's independence and his "central" role in solving the question of the Indonesian province of Aceh in 2005. Ahtisaari twice worked to find a solution in Kosovo -- first in 1999 and again between 2005 and 2007. He also worked with others this year to find a peaceful solution to the problems in Iraq, the committee said. Ahtisaari is Chairman of Crisis Management Initiative, an independent, non-profit organization that promotes and works for sustainable security.
The prestigious prize includes a medal, a personal diploma, and 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.4 million) in prize money. The committee awards the peace prize annually according to guidelines laid down in the will of its founder, Alfred Nobel. The committee plans to award the prize to Ahtisaari on December 10th at Oslo City Hall in Norway.
The peace prize is one of five Nobel prizes awarded annually. The others -- for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature -- were announced this week and will be awarded in Stockholm, Sweden later this year.
There should be more people in the world like former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari. I hope that he will inspire others by his efforts and accomplishments. Congratulations! Enjoy the $1.4 million.