Friday, October 07, 2005

Nobel Mohamed ElBaradei?

I read in the papers (well the Evening Mail ... cough ... Standard) on my way home thah Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA had been awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Now forgive me for having an opinion on this one but, I don't think that preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, or any other weapon of mass destruction is a good enough reason to award a peace prize. Don't think that I am happy about the proliferation of nuclear weapons because I'm not. I'd much rather no country or group had a single nuclear weapon.

It's just that I think that the weapons are simply tools and that it would be more appropriate if the prize was awarded to a person or organisation which tackled the much more difficult issues regarding the causes of conflict.

I believe that removing the tools of conflict without tackling its underlying causes, like social and economic inequalities, is essentially a pointless exercise as far as the purpose of developing long term peaceful relationships between individuals or societies.

Surely the prize should be awarded to people or organisations which try to educate people and/or try to reduce the very large inequalities that exist between social and economic groups. Yes it is a much harder task, and yes it is harder to evaluate the success of such attempts but surely awarding a prize to an organisation and its head just for doing the job that they are meant to do isn't very inspiring.

The Nobel website had this to say about the prize:
The ways and means to achieve peace are as diverse as the individuals and organizations rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, shared the first prize in 1901 with Frédéric Passy, leading international pacifist of the time. Aside from humanitarian work and peace movements, the Prize has been awarded to a wide field of work including advocacy of human rights, mediation of international conflicts and arms control and disarmament.
There are also some interesting quotes on the BBC website.


Blogger Sam said...

It's interesting, isn't it - a nuclear weapon is just a means to an end...notwithstanding the fact that only two have ever been used in anger - by the Americans.

A country without nuclear weapons will concentrate its efforts and resources on other things, like better tanks and guns.

10/10/05 11:19  
Blogger Jon said...

Hi Sam,

I have been reading research which shows that removing easy ways of killing people from the general populous does reduce the number of deaths, but not the number of violent offences.

In a nutshecll ... Whilst I agree that getting bottled in the head is probably a lot better than getting shot in the head I still think that removing the will to commit physical violence would be a step better.

I know that in practice it is not possible but if trying to actually change peoples will for violence actually had a significant effect it would be worth it.

10/10/05 13:57  

Post a Comment

<< Home