February 24, 2006

Bono, Geldof among 191 Nobel Peace Prize nominees

By James Kilner

OSLO (Reuters) - Rock stars Bono and Bob Geldof are among
191 nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize -- the second
longest list in the prize's 105-year history.

Nominations for the $1.3 million award -- considered by
many to be one of the world's top accolades -- trickled in from
all corners of the globe, the director of the Norwegian Nobel
Institute Geir Lundestad said on Friday.

"There are two trends I want to point out. The first is
that this is again a very high number and that this year we
have received more nominations from different parts of the
world than usual," he told Reuters.

He said 23 of the 191 nominees were organizations. In 2005
there were a record 199 nominations. As usual Lundestad
declined to give any indication of who had or had not been
nominated for the prize and instead referred to media leaks.

U2 front man Bono and Live8 organizer Geldof have
campaigned for canceling third world debt and once again make
the list.

Website reports say former mayor of New York Rudolph
Giuliani and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who
helped organize a peace deal in Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged
Aceh province, have also been nominated for the peace prize.

And the Internet has been used by campaigners to drum up
support for some celebrities.

Previous Nobel Peace Prize winners include U.S. President
Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for organizing a 1905 peace treaty
between Russia and Japan and Martin Luther King in 1964 for his
civil rights campaign.

Mother Teresa, the Indian missionary, won the prize in 1979
and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev won in 1990 for
helping to end the Cold War. The International Committee of the
Red Cross has won the award three times in 1917, 1945 and 1963.


The oprah4peaceprize.org website has been campaigning for
U.S. chat show host Oprah Winfrey to make the list.

Under the rules, nominations must be postmarked no later
than February 1. Some university professors, parliamentarians,
former winners and members of the prize committee can all make
nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

And the list of former nominees includes Nazi leader Adolf
Hitler and former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic who is
standing trial at the U.N.'s war crimes tribunal in the Hague.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, and its director
Mohamed ElBaradei won last year's prize for their work to curb
the spread of nuclear arms and ensure the safe use of nuclear

That award is likely to mean that anti-nuclear campaigners
have little chance this year as the secretive five-person
Norwegian Nobel Committee tends to vary its choices among
different kinds of work for peace.

The prize winner is announced each year in mid-October, and
the prize is given to the winner in Oslo on December 10.

A Chinese dissident could be favored. Lundestad said in a
2001 speech that the committee had to "sooner rather than
later" speak out about human rights in China.

The peace prize is named after Alfred Nobel, the Swedish
philanthropist and inventor of dynamite who died in 1896, one
of the wealthiest men in Europe.

He left his money to the foundation established in his name
to reward excellence each year. The peace prize is the only one
of six Nobel prizes awarded outside Stockholm.