Molecular Imaging News
October 7, 2005
IAEA and Director Mohamed ElBaradei Share 2005 Nobel Peace Prize
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.
At a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to underline that this threat must be met through the broadest possible international cooperation. This principle finds its clearest expression today in the work of the IAEA and its Director General. In the nuclear non-proliferation regime, it is the IAEA which controls that nuclear energy is not misused for military purposes, and the Director General has stood out as an unafraid advocate of new measures to strengthen that regime. At a time when disarmament efforts appear deadlocked, when there is a danger that nuclear arms will spread both to states and to terrorist groups, and when nuclear power again appears to be playing an increasingly significant role, IAEA's work is of incalculable importance.
In his will, Alfred Nobel wrote that the Peace Prize should, among other criteria, be awarded to whoever had done most for the "abolition or reduction of standing armies." In its application of this criterion in recent decades, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has concentrated on the struggle to diminish the significance of nuclear arms in international politics, with a view to their abolition. That the world has achieved little in this respect makes active opposition to nuclear arms all the more important today.
A statement issued by IAEA Director General ElBaradei, said:
With this recognition, the Norwegian Nobel Committee underscores the value and the relevance of the work we have been doing. It recognizes the urgency of addressing the dangers we face: nuclear proliferation, nuclear armaments, and nuclear terrorism. The award will lend prominence and impetus to the IAEA's ultimate objective—of passing to our children a world free of nuclear weapons—and for that I am deeply grateful.
It is at once humbling to receive such an extraordinary honor, and an occasion for me to take great pride in all the men and women who serve at the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is an acknowledgement of their untiring efforts in the service of peace—efforts that the Prize Committee has characterized as being "of incalculable importance".
The IAEA was founded with a simple credo: "Atoms for Peace"—meaning that nuclear science should be used safely and securely in the service of humankind—in peaceful applications related to energy production, health, water, agriculture and other aspects of development—and not for its destruction. More than anything, this award suggests that, almost five decades later, we are still focused unwaveringly on living up to that objective.
It has long been my belief that the road to international peace and security lies through multilateralism—the collective search by people of all racial, religious, ethnic and national backgrounds to find a common ground, based not on intimidation or rivalry but on understanding and human solidarity.
In a practical sense, this means developing a functional system of international security that does not derive from a nuclear weapons deterrent—but rather based on addressing the security concerns of all.
Ultimately, the news I have just received—that we are being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize—gives me renewed hope that, working in concert, the international community can achieve this goal. It strengthens my resolve to fulfill both aspects of the Agency's mandate: ensuring that the benefits of nuclear energy are distributed as broadly as possible in the service of humankind, and working towards a world free of nuclear weapons.