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Obama 2009 Nobel Prize: Efforts vs. Achievements, Will vs. Action

March 11, 2010

The award of the 2009 edition of Alfred Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama, can be summed up to… a race in which EFFORTS are faced with ACHIEVEMENTS and the WILL is confronting ACTIONS. Effort is being “…. the making” while achievement is what is “made already”.  The will can be the “desire or the determination to” do it but, action is actually “doing it concretely” and making it visible.The world was taken aback when the Nobel Prize Committee on October 09, 2009, announced that US President, just 9 months old in office, was winner of the 2009 Edition of the Prize. As the chairperson of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland said, the award to Barack Obama... was aimed at supporting his efforts in using diplomacy to attain world peace, in his efforts at making sure the decision of majority of the people count and above all, his efforts at making a nuclear free world.

Obama himself was succinct when he admitted that he was not only surprised but “deeply humbled” and believed the award was “not a recognition of his personal accomplishments” but rather, what he described as the “affirmation of America’s leadership.’’ According to him, this leadership is aimed at meeting the “aspirations of many”.

Some were embarrassed because of the fact that the above so-called "achievements" are yet to be achieved by Obama because they are still efforts. The US president, one of the finest speakers of our time, is yet to transform his eloquent speeches into actions, which could be described or visible achievements and this therefore puts to question whether the Nobel Prize is aimed at encouraging people and efforts or, it is aimed at celebrating concrete achievements.

Depending on the frame from where one looks at it, it can be argued either ways. Obama has preached for a nuclear free world and is making efforts at stopping Iran and North Korea from having nuclear weapons though critics see it as a move against peace itself. This is because the US, Israel, Russia, China, Franca, among other countries have such weapons and some of these countries have actually used banned weapons on civilian population for no just reason.

Obama’s efforts for peace and the sending of additional troops to Afghanistan to fight what the US describes as terrorists has again angered so many who think Obama is provoking more violence and war.

A halt on nuclear weapons is a good for move for peace but for the US in her efforts to enhance peace, must openly and sincerely criticise those who have used ban weapons like white phosphorus among others on civilians. As the most powerful nation on planet earth, the US must champion the true course for peace not only in words but also in concrete actions such as fighting against injustice, neo colonialism, exploitation, aggression etc.

Efforts aimed improving more peace entails all nations withdrawing troops from foreign land, stopping the support to multinationals fuelling conflict in several parts of the world like the case with petroleum exploitation firms and other companies in Africa. It means stopping the support to rogue regimes and allow each nation to handle it problems on its own as well as stop the support to rebels.

A move towards world peace will be scraping certain archaic and partial bodies like the UN Security Council and the veto power of some of its member who have used it for non-peaceful motives. Nevertheless, Obama has taken up with lots of zeal and determination and we hope this prize will add more impetus to his efforts which thereafter be seen as concrete achievements.

Enforcing economic sanctions aimed at supporting regime change in sovereign states is itself a move against peace. Such sanctions have unnecessary led to more agony of the majority of the population like the case in Zimbabwe.

That notwithstanding, Obama has shown the will through words. We need to see him concretise the will and efforts to actions and achievements.

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