This year, there are a record 278 candidates, including 47 organisations, who received nominations for the award, as the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s director, Geir Lundestad, said.
The Nobel committee met last week, adding their own proposals with a focus on recent turmoil around the globe. “Part of the purpose of the committee’s first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots,” Lundestad stated.
Russia seized control of Ukraine’s Crimea region after President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted on February 22nd, prompting the most serious confrontation between Moscow and the West since the end of the Cold War.
Among the other nominees were Pope Francis and former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
“We are getting an increasing number of nominations from people in countries that have never submitted nominations before.”
Although nominations are kept a secret for 50 years, thousands of people around the world can propose candidates, including any member of the national assemblies.
The candidates were narrowed to a list of between 25 and 40 last week by the committee, with the aim to cut the list to around 12 by the end of April.
The fund was originally set up to finance the winner’s research; such is the case of the Science-oriented Nobel Prize. First awarded in 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize includes US$1.24 million in cash. The winner is announced on the second Friday of October 2014, with the prize presented on the 10th December, on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.