Factbox: How does the Nobel Peace Prize work?


A bust of Alfred Nobel is pictured inside the room where the Nobel Peace Prize is announced, at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in central Oslo, Norway on September 14, 2021. Photo taken on September 14, 2021 September 2021. REUTERS / Nora Buli

  • The price will be announced on October 8 in Oslo
  • 329 candidates running
  • Tsikhanouskaya, Thunberg, RSF nominee
  • Graphic of Nobel Laureates: http://tmsnrt.rs/2y6ATVW

OSLO, October 1 (Reuters) – The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced on October 8 in Oslo. Here’s an overview of how the award works:


The prize should be awarded to the person “who has done the most or the best to advance brotherhood among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of congresses for peace”, according to the will of the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who founded the prizes.

Thousands of people can nominate names: members of governments and parliaments; current heads of state; university professors of history, social sciences, law and philosophy; and former Nobel Peace Prize laureates, among others. This year there are 329 nominees, although the full list is kept locked in a safe for 50 years.

Among the favorites for punters this year are Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and the World Health Organization. Read more


The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which consists of five people appointed by the Norwegian parliament. Members are often retired politicians, but not always. The current committee is headed by a lawyer and includes an academic.

They are all nominated by Norwegian political parties and their appointments reflect the balance of power in the Norwegian parliament.


Nominations end on January 31. Committee members can make their own appointments no later than the first committee meeting in February.

They discuss all the appointments and then draw up a shortlist. Each candidate is then assessed and reviewed by a panel of permanent advisers and other experts.

The committee meets approximately once a month to discuss the nominations. They usually make their decision at the last committee meeting, which usually takes place in early October.

The committee seeks a consensus on its selection. If not, the decision is taken by majority vote.

The last time a member resigned in protest was in 1994, when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shared the award with Israelis Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin.


Although the entire list of nominations is kept secret, the proposers are free to disclose them. In recent years, Norway’s own lawmakers have tended to publish the names of their candidates in advance, with some success: six of the last seven winners were on these lists.

This year, according to a Reuters survey of Norwegian lawmakers who leaked their candidates, the list includes Thunberg, Tsikhanouskaya, jailed Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and US politician Stacey Abrams.

Nominated organizations include Black Lives Matter, the World Health Organization, vaccine-sharing organization COVAX, and press freedom groups Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Read more


A medal, a diploma, ten million Swedish kronor ($ 1.1 million) – and immediate global attention.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 laureate, has said that becoming a Nobel laureate is a double-edged sword. “One day, no one was listening. The next day, I was an oracle”, he would have declared in his authorized biography.


The ceremony will take place on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. Since 1989 it has been held at Oslo City Hall, but it was canceled last year due to coronavirus restrictions. The Norwegian Nobel Institute will say in mid-October whether there will be a ceremony in Oslo this year.

Compiled by Gwladys Fouché Edited by Peter Graff

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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