Monday, December 10, 2012

  • 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Goes to the European Union Amid Opposition from Three Former Laureates

    Nobel_ceremony

    We broadcast from Oslo, Norway, just outside Oslo City Hall, as the European Union receives the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Norwegian peace organizations and opponents of the European Union held a torch-lit march Sunday to protest the decision. Three Nobel Peace Prize laureates — Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel from Argentina — sent an unprecedented letter to the Nobel Committee opposing the award, saying the 27-nation bloc contradicts Alfred Nobel’s vision of a demilitarized global peace order. We begin the show going inside the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony. "We are not gathered here today in the belief that the European Union is perfect," says Thorbjørn Jagland, chairperson of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. "We are gathered in the belief that here in Europe we must solve our problems together." The committee said it chose to honor the European Union because of its contributions to decades of stability and democracy after World War II. [includes rush transcript]

  • Does the EU Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? Critics Condemn Role in Brutal Greek Austerity

    Dimitris_kodelas

    We spoke Sunday with supporters and critics of the European Union across Oslo as it was set to receive the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. "When we heard that the Nobel Prize for peace will be given to the European Union, we first thought it was a joke," says Greek lawmaker Dimitris Kodelas of the left-wing opposition group Syriza, "especially because this comes in days when mainly the peoples of South Europe are living with the results of a financial war, and their countries are turning to colonies of debt with deprived citizens and looted national wealth." Kodelas spoke to Democracy Now! at the Oslo Peace House. [includes rush transcript]

  • Norwegian Peace Activist: Top Role in Global Arms Trade Makes EU Unworthy of Nobel Prize

    Hedda_langemyr

    Hundreds of Norwegians held a torch-lit march in Oslo on Sunday to criticize the selection of the European Union for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Its member countries account for one-third of global arms exports. "It is not only the [EU] member states that do export weapons, and it’s not only the member states facilitating the weapon industry, but it’s also the EU on an institutional level. And that is the main reason, at least I’m here today, to contradict this prize," says Hedda Langemyr, the director of the Norwegian Peace Council. [includes rush transcript]

  • A "Radical Idea" Reversed: Author Says Nobel Committee Has Betrayed Founder’s Anti-Military Intent

    Fredrik_heffermehl

    For years, the Norwegian Nobel Peace Committee has faced criticism over its secrecy and selections, perhaps most notably in 1973 when Henry Kissinger won the award. Leading the critique of the committee has been Norwegian lawyer Fredrik Heffermehl. "Since [the committee is] very devoted to the NATO alliance and to the United States’ foreign policy and wants," Heffermehl says, "so the prize has come to serve the exact opposite of what it was intended to serve ... to support the work for breaking the military tradition and creating global peace or demilitarized global peace order. It’s a very radical idea." Heffermehl is past president of Norwegian Peace Council and a member of the board of the International Peace Bureau, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. He is author of the book, "The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted." Before Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, died on Dec. 10, 1896, he wrote in his will that his fortune was to be used to give out annual prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Heffermehl argues the Norwegian Nobel Committee has illegally ignored Nobel’s will. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Incredibly Disappointed": Civil Groups Decry Weak COP18 Deal amid Deadly Proof of Climate Change

    Samantha_smith_of_wwf

    The United Nations climate change summit ended Saturday after negotiators agreed to a weakened deal that will do nothing to halt rising world greenhouse gas emissions. The so-called Doha Climate Gateway extends the Kyoto Protocol for eight more years and paves the way for talks on a new global U.N. pact to enter into force in 2020. Under the deal, the United States made no new pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions or to increase its aid to nations suffering from the impact of climate change. "We expected, going into Doha, that after the president mentioned climate change in his inaugural speech, after Hurricane Sandy, after discussions amongst high-level politicians in the U.S., we expected a pivot on climate policy, and we saw instead exactly the same kinds of tactics that we’ve seen for the last four years from the United States," says Samantha Smith of the World Wildlife Fund’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. "We think it’s time for President Obama to step forward to start a national conversation about climate change." [includes rush transcript]