The Nobel Committee has caused numerous controversies over its lengthy history, with the awarding of several winners of its Peace Prize being questioned.
Its decision to give the award to the European Union in 2012 was met with derision from some corners, given the financial crises, rights records and foreign policies of some of the bloc’s member states.
Three Nobel laureates — Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Perez Esquivel — said the European Union didn’t qualify for the award and asked the prize board to withhold it.
Barack Obama’s 2009 victory was a surprising choice — not least to the then-US President himself, who admitted he hadn’t expected the award.
“I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations,” Obama said after accepting the prize.
In 1973, the award went to Henry Kissinger for securing a deal to end the Vietnam War — but his role in that conflict as Richard Nixon’s national security adviser caused observers to ask whether he was a suitable choice.
And in 1948, no one won the prize because the committee didn’t feel anyone met the criteria — despite many calling for Mahatma Gandhi, assassinated earlier in the year, to win posthumously.