PRIO Director's Speculations 2006

PRIO Director Stein Tønnesson's Favourites

  1. Martti Ahtisaari
  2. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
  3. Rebiya Kadeer 

1. Martti Ahtisaari, Crisis Management Initiative

Former Finnish president (1994-2000) who in August 2005 successfully brokered a peace treaty between the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement through his NGO the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). 

For his work in the UN, he is most notably remembered for stabilizing the situation in Namibia, and leading the country towards its first free elections in November 1989.

In 2000 he oversaw the IRA weapons decommissioning in Northern Ireland.  Later that year he was awarded the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding by the Fulbright Association in recognition of his work as peacemaker in some of the world’s most troubled areas.

In November 2005 Ahtisaari was appointed as UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to lead the Vienna peace talks that will determine the final status of Kosovo.  That he is considered to be pro-Albanian may count against him, but this seems to be based on several mis-understandings.

The Crisis Manangement Initiative, which Ahtisaari founded in 2000, belongs to a family of centres that are lead by former leaders, such as the Carter Centre, the Kim Dae-Jung Peace Foundation, and the recently opened Oslo Centre run by former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

 2. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

The President of Indonesia is "credited with ending the decades-old rebellion in the tsunami-ravaged province of Aceh" (Weiss, IHT, 19 Feb) without the use of military force. The Committee may also be looking to award the prize to a muslim, in an effort to mend relations between Islam and the West. 

SBY published an article in the International Herald Tribune calling for dialogue, tolerance and forgiveness, in light of the insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, and the violent reactions to them (Yudhoyono, IHT, 10 Feb). 

SBY also led a "highly competent response to the devastating tsunami in December 2004, and then exhibited a statesman's touch in signing a visionary peace pact to end the long-running rebellion in the province of Aceh" (Wehrfritz & Cochrane, Newsweek, 6 March).

The Committee may, however, find it problematic to give the prize to just one side of the former conflict between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement; thus the mediator Ahtisaari may stand a better chance.

3. Rebiya Kadeer

A prisoner of conscience in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (also known as East Turkistan), and winner of the 2004 Rafto prize.  It is a long time since the prize has been awarded to a Chinese, and the Committee may also be looking to give the prize to a muslim, and especially a woman.  Kadeer is, however, in exile, and is thus not currently active in her own country.  The Committee may therefore look to other Asian dissidents.

It's also worth noting that Chinese authorities have threatened the Norwegian Parliament that if they don't act to stop the Nobel Committee giving the prize to Kadeer it will damage Norwegian-Chinese relations (Aftenposten, 22 September 2006).  Members of Norway's parliament have the right to make nominations for the prize, but do not have any power over the Committee's final decision.


Because nominations are officially kept a secret, the list below is based on information leaked to the press/world wide web and could possibly be based on rumours and hearsay. It is by no means complete or assured, but represents the best possible list given the information present at the time of writing. For further information on the nomination process click here.

Confirmed Nominations:

[Although nominators are strongly requested not to publish their proposals, the following list of nominees is confirmed only to the extent that the nominators have apparently chosen to publicise their choice anyway]

  • Rudolph Giuliani, former New York major, nominated by a group of Swedish legislators.
  • Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesian president, nominated by US congressman Robert Wexler.
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation, nominated by US Congressman  Joseph Crowley.
  • John Bolton, US Ambassador to the UN, and Kenneth R. Timmerman, nominated by Sweden's former deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark.
  • Bob Geldof, nominated by Norwegian MP Jan Simonsen.

Possible Nominations:

[The following "possible" nominees are not confirmed. Although there is plenty of speculation in some cases, the nominators have apparently not chosen to publicly confirm their nominations]

  • Romina Picolotti, Argentinean lawyer and human rights activist, awarded the 2006 Sophie Prize.
  • Carla del Ponte, Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor.
  • Founders of the Internet Bob Kahn, Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen.
  • Gao Zhi Sheng, a prominent and outspoken defefense attorney (defending, among others, the practitioners of Falun Gong) "who organized a symbolic 48-hour hunger strike to protest the attacks" against the Chinese media, including the killing of a newspaper editor named Wu Xianghu (Krauss, IHT, 6 March), and who had his licence to practice law taken away by China's ruling party (Kahn, IHT, 12 Dec).
  • Aliaksander Bialiatski, winner of the Andrej Sakharov Freedom Award 2006.
  • Oprah Winfrey, entertainer.  It's not clear if she has been formally nominated.
  • Ms. Rebiya Kadeer.
  • Thich Quang Do, Secretary General, Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam.
  • Ms. Lida Yusupova, lawyer and spokeswoman for the forgotten victims of the war in , and winner of the 2005 Rafto prize.
  • Save the Children
  • Oxfam
  • Colin Powell, former secretary of state, & George W. Bush, president, for their efforts to end 's 21-year civil war (possibly nominatd by Congressmen Frank Wolf)
  • "Thousand Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005"
  • Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela
  • George Ryan, former Illinois Governor and anti-death penalty campaigner
  • Tiananmen Mothers of those killed in the 1989 massacre in Beijing
  • Salvation Army
  • Vaclav Havel, former Czech President
  • Comunità di Sant'Egidio
  • Hadassah Medical Organization
  • Taslima Nasreen,  Bangladeshi writer
  • Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,  Iraqi Shia cleric
  • Marguerite Barankitse, head of Maison Shalom, Burundi
  • Martti Ahtisaari/Crisis Management Initiative
  • Ales Bialatski
  • Vaclav Havel
  • Ghassan Andoni/Jeff Halper/International Solidarity Movement
  • Bono
  • Courage To Refuse 
  • Cindy Sheehan
  • Kailash Satyarthi
  • Paulos Tesfagiorgis
  • Mordechai Vanunu
  • Amnesty International
  • Sidi Mohamed Daddach
  • International Committee Of The Red Cross
  • Richard Lugar/Sam Nunn/Cooperative Threat Reduction
  • SOS Children's Villages
  • Zackie Achmat/Treatment Action Campaign
  • Marguerite Barankitse
  • Thich Quang Do
  • Hadassah Medical Organization
  • Louisa Hanoun
  • Eunice Inacio
  • Asma Jahangir
  • Hans Blix 
  • Lakhdar Brahimi
  • European Union
  • Rudolph Giuliani
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Jayaram Jayalalithaa
  • Bob Kahn
  • Nihon Hidankyo
  • Nguyen Dan Que
  • Kenneth Timmermann
  • Betty Williams
  • American Friends Service Committee
  • Tony Blair
  • George W. Bush,
  • John Howard