The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is timely. It makes me wonder, though, if the Nobel committee would ever have made this award at all if it were not for the recent totally unjustified use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The 1988 Peace Prize went to the U.N. peacekeeping forces, the 2001 prize went to the United Nations and Kofi Annan, and many others have been awarded to organizations going back to 1917 to the Red Cross. There is no doubt that these organizations have been doing outstanding work to promote world peace. However, these organizations have thousands of people working for them, millions of dollars in funding, significant political clout and cover, and the legal authority to do what they are supposed to and expected to do.
It seems a little unfair to compare and contrast the achievements of such well-funded organizations with the potential impact of the exemplary courage and determination of individuals like Malala Yousafzai--a 16-year-old with essentially no resources and working in an extremely adverse environment--on the hundreds of millions of poor, mistreated and often abused women who are denied the basic right to be educated.
Hopefully, Malala's turn will come sooner than later!
First Published October 17, 2013 8:00 PM