October 12, 2001

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan , United Nations win Nobel Peace Prize

I'm not that familiar with the Nobel committee's S.O.P., but doesn't there seem to be something a little strange about the Peace Prize this year? (And I'm not talking about giving the award to an organization whose Commission on Human Rights this year voted out The United States while still somehow finding room for China, Cuba, Libya, Sudan, and Syria.) I'm referring to the following:

OSLO, Norway, Oct. 12 — The United Nations and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "their work for a better organized and more peaceful world." The Nobel committee said the United Nations and Annan would share the $943,000 award in equal parts.

It seems a little strange that Annan would get to split the monetary award equally with the organization as a whole. Is the Nobel committee saying that his contributions have been equal to the entire organization of which he is the head? I'm assuming that the Nobel people can pretty much do whatever they want, but is this normal? I had always thought that the prize money was meant to further the winner's cause and help them/it continue, but I'm not sure how handing Annan a big check does that. If anybody knows more about how this works, please let me know.

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