Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos received the Nobel Peace Prize today in Oslo, Norway for his efforts to put an end to the 50-year-old bloody conflict in his country. Santos said that the prize was “a gift from heaven” because it helped the FARC rebel group and the Colombian government continue their peace negotiations after the Colombian people rejected the first agreement reached by the sides.
After the signing of the first peace deal Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony took place today (Saturday) in Oslo, Norway. The Nobel Peace Prize is the only prize in the series of awards that is not presented in Sweden. This year, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is receiving the prize for his efforts to put an end to the 50-year-old conflict in his country. “Peace is coming,” said Santos.
Santos, who was selected out of 376 nominees, said that the prize gave the peace negotiations between his government and the FARC rebel group a “tremendous push” after the Colombian people rejected the conditions of the first agreement in an October referendum.
“The Nobel Prize award was announced and it came like a gift from heaven because it gave us a tremendous push,” said Santos. “People in Colombia interpreted it as a mandate from the international community to persevere, to continue striving to achieve a new peace agreement, so it helped very, very much.” According to the deal, the rebel group will hand over its weapons to the UN within the next five months.
“This is the time to learn from the peace deal we’ve reached,” said Santos. “I learned from Yitzhak Rabin that sometimes you need to take unpopular steps in order to achieve peace.”
A few hours after the ceremony in Norway, the world will turn its attention to Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city, where the Nobel Prizes for chemistry, physics and economic sciences will be presented. In addition, the Nobel Prize in Literature will be presented to this year’s recipient, Bob Dylan. However, Dylan himself will not accept the prize in Stockholm because the journey to Sweden did not work out for the legendary artist.