President Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
The committee cited the president’s work to improve international diplomacy and rid the world of nuclear weapons.
According to the Washington Post, the decision “drew gasps of surprise from the audience in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.”
“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee said. “His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”
Obama, 48, is the third sitting U.S. president — and the first in 90 years — to win the prestigious peace prize, the Post reported.
Woodrow Wilson was awarded the price in 1919 after helping to found the League of Nations and shaping the Treatise of Versailles. Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906 after helping negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese war. Both were in their second terms.
The Post said Obama’s selection from among 205 nominees “appears in part to be a rebuke to the Bush administration’s unilateral approach to world bodies and alliances, most notably in its decision to go to war in Iraq without U.N. approval.”
Reporters in Oslo reportedly questioned Obama’s selection, noting that he has done little to advance world peace in his nine months in office.
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