Published 9:56 AM EDT Oct 10, 2019
The Norwegian Nobel Committee will announce the winner, or winners, of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Friday in Oslo, Norway.
The prize is awarded annually to the person or organization that has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
Last year, the five-person Norwegian committee awarded the coveted prize to Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nadia Murad from Iraq for their work to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
The announcement of the prize’s winner follows Thursday’s 2018 and 2019 literature prize, which was suspended last year after sex abuse allegations.
According to the Nobel Institute, there are 301 candidates for this year’s prize, out of which 223 are individuals and 78 are organizations.
The names of Nobel Peace Prize nominees aren’t revealed until 50 years after the prize is awarded, however, these are a few predicted frontrunners:
The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg led millions of people around the world in the biggest climate strike in history. An estimated total of 4 to 7.6 million people participated in September’s Global Climate Strike, which took place before the 2019 UN Summit. At the congregation, the 16-year-old Swede berated world leaders for not doing enough to stop climate change.
“We are in the beginning of mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?” she said.
Her first address to the UN took place in Poland at the United Nations COP24 Climate Summit last year, where talks culminated to nearly 200 nations agreeing to rules that will govern the Paris Climate Agreement.
Last month, Thunberg won the Right Livelihood award, often referred to as the “Alternative Nobel,” for “inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts.”
New Zealand’s 40th prime minister Jacinda Ardern was catapulted into the international spotlight after a mass shooter terrorized two Christchurch mosques, killing 50 people and injuring dozens more in March.
In weeks after the attack, she led lawmakers to vote 119 to one to ban most automatic and semi-automatic weapons. She simultaneously promised her nation’s parliament that she wouldn’t promote the shooter’s notoriety and refused to repeat his name.
Ardern is New Zealand’s youngest leader in decades and was the second elected leader to give birth while still in office.
The Ethiopian prime minister clinched a peace deal last year that ended 20 years of military stalemate between his country and their northern neighbor Eritrea. According to TIME, at least 70,000 people were killed since the border disputes began in 1998, five years after Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia.
Although thousands of political prisoners have been freed since Ahmed took office in April 2018, Ethiopia’s internal issues still divide the country.
Reporters without Borders
Reporters without Borders (RSF) is the largest non-government organization that specializes in defending media freedom. They were at the forefront of voices who spoke out against Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year.
RSF has organized a petition that calls on the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to release the 28 journalists and bloggers that are currently detained. According to their website, the number of imprisoned journalists has doubled in Saudi Arabia since the crown prince was appointed in 2017.
Raoni Metuktire, an indigenous chief from the Kayapó tribe in Brazil, was nominated by a number of environmental activists for his work protecting the Amazon rainforest, according to Reuters.
The 89-year-old, first introduced to the world in the late 1980s by British musician Sting, resurfaced to the limelight this year as the Amazon rainforest was on fire. The Brazilian chief met twice with French president Emmanuel Macron, Reuters reported, who stemmed the international campaign to bring awareness to the burning rainforest.
Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev
The Nobel committee could also choose to acknowledge the joint leadership of Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and North Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev. The two prime ministers put 30 years of acrimony between their neighboring countries behind them when they agreed that the former Yugoslav republic should officially be renamed from Macedonia to North Macedonia and Greece should drop its objections to its neighbor joining NATO.
Contributing: Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.