FROM: Nobel laureates demand 2012: c/o Peter Kolbe, Werderstr. 36 69120 Heidelberg, Germany firstname.lastname@example.org
TO: The Nobel Foundation, P.O. Box 5232, SE-102 45 Stockholm, Sweden
CC: The Foundations Authority, Stockholm County (Länsstyrelsen)
The European Union, announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee as the winner of the peace prize for 2012, clearly is not one of “the champions of peace” Alfred Nobel had in mind when he described the purpose in his will. We ask the Board of the Foundation to clarify that it cannot and will not pay the prize from its funds.
We would like to remind you of the decision of the Swedish Foundations Authority (Länsstyrelsen) on March 21, 2012, requesting the Board to examine the purpose Nobel described in his will, underlining that all prizes must comply, and clarifying that the Swedish Foundations Act places the supreme authority and responsibility also for the Norwegian decisions in the Board of the Nobel Foundation.
Unauthorized transformation of Nobel’s purpose
Instead of an unspecified prize for “peace,” Alfred Nobel in his 1895 testament explained in precise terms the champions of peace (“fredsförfäktare”) whose work he wished to benefit. Nobel intended to support the political work for a demilitarized global peace order (a “folkens förbrödrande”), based on co-operation, law and disarmament.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has redefined and reshaped the prize in a way that is not in accordance with the law. The choice of the EU for the 2012 prize fails on at least two counts:
- the EU is not seeking to realize Nobel’s demilitarized global peace order,
- the EU and member states condone security based on military force and waging wars rather than insisting on the need for an alternative approach.
The purpose of the peace prize is clarified by recent research. In 2008 Fredrik S. Heffermehl, a Norwegian lawyer and author and a former IPB Vice President, published the first known legal study of the prize and its purpose. In 2010 he published The Nobel Peace Prize. What Nobel Really Wanted (Praeger, 2010) with later updates in Chinese, Finnish, Swedish (Leopard, 2011).
The case for declaring the 2012 prize unlawful further rests on facts widely known and mentioned in comments following the announcement and we implore the Foundation to act in defense of the Nobel Peace Prize and its creator Alfred Nobel.
Loyal promotion of Nobel ‘s global peace order is the committee’s main obligation. Even accepting some flexibility with technical rules, the 2012 prize for the EU is particularly problematic in relation to Nobel language on “the last expired year” and that the winner should be a “person.”
We would appreciate an urgent clarification from the Foundation.
Mairead Maguire, Nobel laureate, Northern Ireland
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate, South Africa
Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel laureate, Argentina
Co-signed by the following in their personal capacities (organizational affiliation only for identification and relevance)
Bruce Kent, former president of the International Peace Bureau, IPB (UK)
Robert Hinde, professor, Movement for the Abolition of War (UK)
Peter Kolbe, Board Member, UNA Branch of Baden Württemberg (Germany)
David Swanson, author, warisacrime.org (USA)
Tomas Magnusson, Co-president, International Peace Bureau (Sweden)
Ståle Eskeland, professor of law, University of Oslo, Norway
Fredrik S. Heffermehl, lawyer and author (The Nobel Peace Prize), Norway