The Nobel Peace Prize is a most honorable prize in the world but it has sparked controversy throughout its history. The Norwegian Parliament appoints the Peace Prize Committee, but peace lover’s critics argue that the same Parliament has pursued partisan military aims by ratifying membership in NATO in 1949, by hosting NATO troops, and by leasing ports and territorial waters to US ballistic missile submarines in 1983. However, the Parliament has no say in the award issue. A member of the Committee cannot at the same time be a member of the Parliament, and the Committee includes former members from all major parties, including those parties that oppose NATO membership.
These are the some widely discussed controversy of the peace-prize is the notable omissions, namely the failure to award individuals with widely recognized contributions to peace. The list includes Mahatma Gandhi, Corazon Aquino, Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II, Steve Biko, Raphael Lemkin, Herbert Hoover, Cesar Chavez, Jose Figueres Ferrer, and Oscar Romero. In particular, the omission of the Indian leader Gandhi has been widely discussed, including public statements by the various members of Nobel Committee. It has been acknowledged by the committee that Gandhi was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and, finally, a few days before he was murdered in January 1948. The omission has been publicly regretted by later members of the Nobel Committee. In 1948, the year of Gandhi’s death, the Nobel Committee declined to award a prize on the ground that “there was no suitable living candidate” that year. Later, when the Dalai Lama was awarded the Peace Prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was “in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.” In most cases, the omissions resulted in part from the provision in Alfred Nobel’s will that only living people could receive the prize.