NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FAVOURITES 2017

When the deadline for the nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize this year expired, 318 candidates were nominated. There were 215 individuals and 103 organisations.

1.The Iran Nuclear Deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry, his Iranian counterpart Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Frederica Mogherini, were all central in the negotiations leading up to the agreement. The deal allows Iran to have a nuclear program for peaceful purposes only. It prevents the development of nuclear weapons. The deal is supervised by the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The US President Donald Trump has threatened to scrap the agreement. A prize in support of the deal will also send a signal to defuse the North Korean nuclear threat by starting negotiations with Kim Jong-un as soon as possible.

2. UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency

An unprecedented 65.6 million displaced people by conflict and persecution makes the UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, one of the strongest candidates for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. From the beginning of 2014 till now more than 3 million men, women and children from Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Myanmar and several African countries have sought asylum in Europe. The current refugee crisis makes it relevant for the Nobel Committee to call for a swift increase in humanitarian assistance to the masses in need. Another crucial argument is the importance of defending the Refugee Convention, which defines the rights of the displaced as well as the legal obligations of the states that protect them. In order to prevent a surge in future waves of refugees and migrants a UNHCR-prize will give the committee an opportunity to formulate a global message about the necessity to organize programs for the recovery of war torn states. Assistance to refugees has been given priority by the Nobel Committee several times. In 1922 Fridtjof Nansen received the peace prize. The refugee organization of the League of Nations, the Nansen Office, became a Nobel laureate in 1938, the Quakers in 1947 and the Belgian priest Georges Pire eleven years later. UNHCR got the reward both in 1954 and 1981. If it is honoured in 2017 the UNHCR will achieve the same position in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize as the Red Cross (ICRC) - three-time recipient of the world's most prestigious award.

3. Raif Badawi from Saudi Arabia

Badawi has been jailed and sentenced to a thousand lashes for his work for human rights and the freedom of speech. He has strong support from the 1977 Peace Prize laureate, Amnesty International. Badawi has received numerous awards, among them the Sakharov-prize from the European Parliament.
A peace prize to Badawi will also draw the world's attention to the Saudi Arabian warfare against the Houtis in Yemen, a conflict with more than 10 000 killed and another 40 000 wounded.

4. Novaya Gazeta and Svetlana Gannushkina
The Novaya Gazeta is one of few independent voices in Russia, and several of its journalists have been killed. Freedom of speech is under pressure in Russia and till now no media has received the Peace Prize. Svetlana Gannuskhina is a Russian human rights activist. In 2012 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the present Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. A prize to the Russian opposition will provoke Putin and possibly irritate some Norwegian politicians and parts of Norwegian business. But it will underline the independence of the Nobel Committee.

5. Dr. Denis Mukwege from Congo
Mukwege has been a nominee for the Peace Prize several times for his continuous work to help violated and raped women during the civil wars in Congo.