Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

TV series 'Top of the Lake: China Girl' screened at Cannes

Read more

FOCUS

A lifeline for women facing domestic violence in Pakistan

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Afghanistan's new TV channel by and for women

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Former minister accused of role in murder of two UN investigators in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Murder in Manchester': Press reacts to Arena terror attack

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Naomi Campbell hosts 'Fashion For Relief'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's visit to Israel in key images

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peacemaker? After Saudi Arabia, Trump visits Israel

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Nicole Kidman stars in 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer'

Read more

Americas

Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize as 'a call to action'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-09

US President Barack Obama said he felt "humbled" to have been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The jury hailed his "extraordinary" diplomatic efforts on the international stage and work on nuclear disarmament.

REUTERS - Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision that honored the first-year U.S. president more for promise than achievement and drew both praise and skepticism around the world.

Obama's speeches

The bestowal of one of the world’s top accolades on a president less than nine months in office, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo.

Obama said he felt humbled and unworthy of being counted in the company of the “transformative figures” of history who had won the prize.

“I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather an affirmation of American leadership,” he said, speaking in the White House Rose Garden.  “I will accept this award as a call to action.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” citing his fledgling push for nuclear disarmament and his outreach to the Muslim world.

Obama has been widely credited with improving America’s global image after the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush, who alienated both friends and foes with go-it-alone policies like the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

But critics called the Nobel’s committee’s decision premature, given that Obama so far has made little tangible headway as he grapples with challenges ranging from the war in Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea.

The White House had no idea the Nobel announcement was coming. Obama, who got the news of the prize in a pre-dawn call from his press secretary, now also has the burden of living up to its expectations.

The first African-American to hold his country’s highest office, Obama, 48, has struggled with a slew of foreign policy problems bequeathed to him by Bush, while taking a more multilateral approach than his predecessor.

Despite troubles at home including a struggling economy that have eroded his once-lofty approval ratings, the Democratic U.S. president is still widely seen around the world as an inspirational figure.

Date created : 2009-10-09

COMMENT(S)