Barack H. Obama, the 44th President of the United States, had been in power for less than eight months when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. Among the reasons it gave, the Nobel Committee lauded Obama for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”. Emphasis was also given to his support – in word and deed – for the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons.
Even before the election, Obama had advocated dialogue and cooperation across national, ethnic, religious and political dividing lines. As President, he called for a new start to relations between the Muslim world and the West based on common interests and mutual understanding and respect. In accordance with a promise he made during his election campaign, he set in motion a plan for the withdrawal of U.S. occupying forces from Iraq.
During his first year in power, President Obama showed himself to be a strong spokesman for human rights and democracy, and as a constructive supporter of the work being done to put effective measures in place to combat the climate crisis. This is in line with his appeal: “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges”.