Oslo: The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón for his “resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.”
“The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process,” The Nobel Committee said in an official statement.
“This tribute is paid, not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war,” it added.
President Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated in the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas, and he has consistently sought to move the peace process forward.
The civil war in Colombia is one of the longest civil wars in modern times and the sole remaining armed conflict in the Americas.
UNESCO Director-General has welcomed the award to Colombian President.
“The decision of the Nobel Prize Committee to honor President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and the historic Colombian peace initiative sends a resounding message to rally for peace, across the continent and around the world,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
“In a country torn by 5 decades of war, displacement and immense suffering, this Prize reminds all that peace can be achieved. This Prize also pays tribute to the audacity and perseverance of President Santos and all those who seek to build peace every day, step by step to heal the wounds of the country, in their families and communities,” Bokova said.
“This is a message of hope and an invitation for all to renew their commitment for peace. It resonates at the heart of UNESCO’s action to uphold human dignity, dialogue and mutual respect,” said the Director-General.
“UNESCO stands by the people of Colombia and is more determined than ever to support all Colombians on their way forward,” she said.
– India Blooms News Service