Wanted: a peacemaker engaged in a current conflict, whose influence would benefit from worldwide recognition. Last year, it was Martti Ahtissari, the former Finnish president, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. This year, a record 205 candidates are vying for the award, which will be announced this morning in Oslo.
Kristian Berg Harpviken, from Oslo’s International Peace Research Institute, has his choice of winner:
“My first pick is the Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba who has been taking a lead in arguing in the conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas.”
Cordoba has her backers but also her critics, who deplore her close ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. She was involved last year in the liberation of French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt, who is also in the running for the prize.
Among the favourites, though, is Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who survived threats and arrests to share power with President Robert Mugabe.
The work of Jordanian Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad in promoting interfaith religious dialogue puts him on the list, where he joins the Afghan human rights’ activist Sima Samar, a champion of women’s rights in her country and in Sudan.
Also favoured is Russian Lidia Yusupova, from the Moscow-based human rights organisation Memorial. Focussing on Chechnya, she has been described as the bravest woman in Europe.
The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced live here on Euronews later today.