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Former U.S. President Carter Wins Nobel Peace Prize

National Geographic News
October 11, 2002
 
For his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to
international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to
promote economic and social development, former President Jimmy Carter
has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002.

The prize will be formally presented December 10—the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel who established the awards—in Oslo. It carries a cash award of about U.S. $1 million.


Announcing its selection of Carter as the 2002 Nobel peace laureatefrom a list of more than 150 candidatesthe Norwegian Nobel Committee said:

"During his presidency (1977-1981), Carter's mediation was a vital contribution to the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, in itself a great enough achievement to qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize. At a time when the Cold War between East and West was still predominant, he placed renewed emphasis on the place of human rights in international politics.

"Through his Carter Center, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2002, Carter has since his presidency undertaken very extensive and persevering conflict resolution on several continents. He has shown outstanding commitment to human rights, and has served as an observer at countless elections all over the world. He has worked hard on many fronts to fight tropical diseases and to bring about growth and progress in developing countries. Carter has thus been active in several of the problem areas that have figured prominently in the over one hundred years of Peace Prize history.

"In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far as possible be resolved through mediation and international co-operation based on international law, respect for human rights, and economic development.''

Recent winners of the Nobel Peace Prize included United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2001), South Korea President Kim Dae-jung (2000), the humanitarian organization Mdecins Sans Frontires (1999), and Northern Ireland's political leaders John Hume and David Trimble (who shared the prize in 1998).

The Peace Prize first awarded in 1901,to Jean Henri Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Frdric Passy, founder and president of the first French peace society.

Other U.S. presidents who received the award were Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919). Civil rights leader Martin Luther King was awarded the prize in 1964. Among the many other recipients over the years were Mother Teresa (1979), the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev (1990), and South Africa's political leaders Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk (who shared the prize in 1993).

National Geographic Salutes Carter

"All of us associated with President and Mrs. Carter are obviously thrilled with the Nobel Committee announcement," said National Geographic Executive Vice President Terry Adamson. "For a number of years, I have been watching the actual announcement ceremony for just such a day, and was this morning at 1:00 a.m. here in Hawaii. I've been pleased to talk with him afterwards. He is excited for what it means for the work he and the Carter Center does and the elevation and recognition it gives to that work at a very propitious time in global history."

Adamson has known the former President since 1965 when Carter was a state senator in Georgia. He came to Washington with the Carter Presidency and served as a senior official of the Justice Department. Adamson has been President and Mrs. Carter's personal lawyer for over twenty years and involved in the establishment of the Carter Center, where he continues to serve on its board of trustees and a member of its executive committee.

Former president and Rosalynn Carter have been to the National Geographic Society's headquarters in Washington, D.C. twice in the past two years. Former president Carter spoke at National Geographic's International Seminar and before many Society groups in January 2000, and then came again with Rosalynn this past July to speak in connection with the publication of a book written by their grandson, Jason Carter, Power Lines (National Geographic Books, 2002). Carter also wrote the introduction to a four-part series on global challenges for the February 2002 issue of National Geographic magazine.

During his first visit to National Geographic, the Society presented to Carter one of its famous map cabinets that have been given to all U.S. Presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Apparently, Carter was missed while in office. His cabinet now hangs proudly in his study in Plains.
 

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