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February 1st, 2023
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U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2019
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News: Bono’s noble work gets Nobel Prize nomination

Posted on Thursday, February 20 @ 02:53:04 CET by Macphisto

(IrishExaminer.com) -- By Alister Doyle, Oslo

BONO has been nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, it emerged yesterday.

It is the second year in a row that the U2 singer has been nominated.

He is running against French president Jacques Chirac, the governor of the US state of Illinois who spared all inmates on death row, Pope John Paul II and a Cuban dissident.

“We have a total of 150 nominees so far, of which 21 are organisations,” Geir Lundestad, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, said yesterday after compiling a list of names sent by the February 1 deadline. The institute only gives the overall number of nominees but does not name them.

But people and organisations whose names have been made public elsewhere include Bono, the European Union, peace group Women in Black, Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng, Cuba’s leading dissident Oswaldo Paya and human rights group Global Witness.

Mr Lundestad said the list was likely at least to match the record 156 for the 2002 prize, won by former US President Jimmy Carter, because members of the secretive five-member awards committee can propose names when they first meet next Tuesday.

Bono has become an outspoken fundraiser for Third World problems in recent years. He was instrumental in the Drop The Debt campaign, which wiped out millions of dollars of international debt owed by Third World governments.

He has travelled the world to lobby world leaders, including French President Jacques Chirac, to encourage them to contribute more aid relief to developing countries.

Mr Lundestad said fears of war in Iraq had apparently not distracted from peace efforts elsewhere in the world. “The range of nominees is very wide,” he said.

Stein Toennesson, the director of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, said chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed El-Baradei, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, will be favourites if they help avert war in Iraq.

“If they succeed in getting Iraq to disarm sufficiently to prevent the US and Britain from going to war, then they deserve it,” he said.

George Ryan, the former governor of Illinois who commuted the sentences of more than 150 people on death row in January, is among nominees along with former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

Peace experts say that Americans like Ryan, Nunn or Lugar can probably forget 2003 because Carter won in 2002. The committee increasingly aims for an international scope.

Lundestad said there were no hard and fast rules. But prizes have almost never gone to people of the same nationality in consecutive years.

Thousands of people around the world have the right to make nominations, including members of all national parliaments, professors of history, social science, philosophy and theology and former winners.

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