The Nobel Peace Prize for 2015
Their Majesties The King and Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were in attendance when the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet in a formal ceremony at Oslo City Hall today.
The recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize were announced in October by Kaci Kullman Five, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 is to be awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”
The statement continues:
“The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratisation process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest. It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war. It was thus instrumental in enabling Tunisia, in the space of a few years, to establish a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction or religious belief.”
The Quartet represents four organisations from different sectors of Tunisian society: working life and welfare, principles of the rule of law, and human rights. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to this Quartet, not to the individual organisations as such. The following four representatives received the prize on behalf of the Quartet:
- Houcine Abassi, Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT)
- Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA)
- Abdessattar Ben Moussa, President of the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH)
- Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, President of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers
In a musical start to the ceremony, soprano Lise Davidsen sang Edvard Grieg’s Ved Rondane with accompaniment of Håvard Gimse on the piano. After the performance, Kaci Kullman Five, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, welcomed the guests and recapitulated the committee’s decision.
The representatives of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet received the diploma and medal as the audience at Oslo City Hall gave them standing ovation.
Following the presentation, the Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi performed her own work Kelmti Horra, meaning “My Word is Free”. Ms Mathlouthi’s songs provided important cultural resonance during the Arab Spring in 2011. Each of the four Nobel Peace Prize Laureates gave a speech after the presentation, before Ms Davidsen and Mr Gimse concluded the ceremony with a performance of Lieder by Richard Strauss.
Audience with King Harald
Earlier in the day, King Harald received the Peace Prize Laureates in an audience at the Royal Palace. Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were in attendance during the audience, which in keeping with tradition also included official photographs taken in the Bird Room.
Save the Children’s Peace Prize Party
In the morning, Crown Princess Mette-Marit also took part in Save the Children’s Peace Prize Party outside the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. Together with Prince Sverre Magnus, the Crown Princess met with the Laureates during the children’s own Peace Prize celebration.
This is the 19th time that Save the Children has celebrated the Nobel Peace Prize in this manner, giving the children themselves an important role in the planning and implementation of the event.
This evening, King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will be attending the traditional Nobel Peace Prize banquet at the Grand Hotel in Oslo.