The World Food Programme said today that winning the Nobel Peace Prize was a “powerful reminder” that ending global hunger was inextricably linked to ending wars and conflict.
“This is a powerful reminder to the world that peace and #ZeroHunger go hand-in-hand,” the Rome-based WFP said on Twitter.
Spokesman Tomson Phiri, who had been on the podium at the UN in Geneva for a regular press briefing when the announcement landed, described the win as “humbling” and a “proud moment” for the UN organization.
“One of the beauties of WFP activities is that not only do we provide food for today and tomorrow, but we also are equipping people with the knowledge, the means to sustain themselves for the next day and the days after,” he said.
Phiri, who only recently became WFP’s spokesman in Geneva but who has worked for the organization for nine years most recently in South Sudan, said he had “seen the extent to which people are dedicated across the globe to go the extra mile”.
WFP, which in addition to providing food aid to millions worldwide handles logistics for the overall UN organization, had especially in the midst of the coronavirus crisis gone “over and above the call of duty”, he said.
Read more: Turkish President Erdogan will decline Nobel Prize if awarded
“At one point we were the biggest airline in the world,” he said, pointing out that, “when most if not all commercial airlines ground to a halt, we were able to move assistance.”
He stressed the clear link between working for peace and ensuring people don’t go hungry.
“What we have seen happening in countries such as South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan, is that where you have conflict, assistance becomes irregular,” he said.
“It becomes inadequate, assistance also sometimes is delayed and in some cases is even suspended.”
Billions of dollars have been spent providing desperately needed aid to countries that have descended into conflict.
But even when aid goes in, Phiri said, you still “need peace”.
“You also need stability in those countries, and that is the bedrock. Everything else becomes less daunting when you have peace.”
Trump did not win the Nobel peace prize
US President Donald Trump had hoped that he would win the peace prize because of the UAE-Israel deal. Even Ian Bremmer, president at Eurasia Group, had discussed with ‘Bloomberg’ President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy, why Trump deserves the Nobel peace prize, and his views of the U.S. presidential race. He spoke on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
This isn’t the first time that the Nobel prize has been contested by Trump. In 2018, eighteen Republican Congressmen sent a letter to the Nobel Committee stating that the president should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his North Korea initiative. This year, two surprise statements from two other countries’ parliament members.
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‘TRT’ reported that Magnus Jacobsson, a member of the Riksdag of Sweden, stated that he had nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work for the Kosovo-Serbia deal, whereas Tybring-Gjedde, a member of Stortinget, the Parliament of Norway, stated that he had nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Israel-UAE peace deal.
Watch the very moment the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was announced.
Presented by Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
See the full announcement: https://t.co/xcZrqV2Gvf#NobelPrize #NobelPeacePrize pic.twitter.com/uw7nqakZeb
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 9, 2020
Both these men have radical-right backgrounds and are sympathetic to Trump. Gjedde was one of two Swedish deputies that nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.
The Nobel Peace Prize, having been awarded since 1901, was omitted in certain years due to the World Wars and other political reasons. According to Alfred Nobel’s will, every year, individual(s) or organization(s) to have endeavored the most for peace between nations and peoples, for disarmament and demilitarization, and for convening peace congresses, are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo.
GVS News Desk