Voice of America
Obama Peace Prize Award Elicits Praise, Criticism
By Michael Bowman
09 October 2009
Global reaction to U.S. President Barack Obama being awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ranges from hearty congratulations to expressions of disbelief and derision.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized the president for his work to strengthen international diplomacy, citing in particular efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The peace prize appears to have caught everyone, including Mr. Obama himself, by surprise.
At American College in Cairo, political scientist Saiid Sadek found Mr. Obama’s selection odd and undeserved. “There is no peace in Iraq, nor in Afghanistan. The Arab-Israeli conflict is still at a standstill. As usual, nothing happened. And Guantanamo Bay jail is still open. So what for is he getting that prize?,” he said
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the peace prize as “great news”. “President Obama embodies the new spirit of dialogue and engagement on the world’s biggest problems: climate change, nuclear disarmament and a wide range of peace and security challenges,” he said.
Two other sitting U.S. presidents have become Nobel laureates: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.