The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded this year to a human rights activist. But normally it is awarded to ‘the person who shall have 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”.
Fortunately, although fraternity between nations may be strained, outright war is now very rare. And it is good to see the prize focus also on the fundamental causes of conflict – environmental destruction, poverty and human rights abuses. War has largely become civil war (of a most uncivil kind) so sadly peace congresses are still needed.
But it’s a long time since the prize rewarded the abolition or reduction of standing armies. Maybe this would be a good time to salute the 19 countries that have decided they can do without a standing army and encourage more to join them?
Chief Executive, Peace Direct