Inside Story

How is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded?

The president of Colombia wins award despite the referendum result to reject peace with FARC rebels.

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee is again courting controversy, with this year’s award to the president of Colombia. 

Juan Manuel Santos is praised for signing a peace deal with FARC rebels to end more than 50 years of war. But the people of Colombia rejected the deal in a referendum.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been controversial in the past.

The European Union was awarded in 2012, when EU financial policies and austerity measures were causing protests in Greece and Spain.

US President Barack Obama was awarded just a few months after entering the White House in 2009.

A joint award was made in 1994 to the former Israeli leaders Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin as well as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. They worked on the Oslo Accords, which aimed for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Is the decision to award Nobel Peace Prize political?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Sverre Lodgaard – Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

David Swanson – Director, World Beyond War website

Frederik Heffermehl – Author of ‘Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted’