Bush, Blair nominated for 2002 Nobel Peace Prize

Monday, February 4th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have been nominated for the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for fighting terrorism and securing world peace, a Norwegian lawmaker announced Monday.

Harald Tom Nesvik, a member of parliament from the right-wing Party of Progress, said he has nominated the two leaders who have been at the forefront of the war in Afghanistan.

``The background for my nomination is their decisive action against terrorism, something I believe in the future will be the greatest threat to peace,'' Nesvik said. ``Unfortunately, sometimes ... you have to use force to secure peace.''

Nesvik has nomination rights as a member of a national legislature.

The Oslo-based awards committee accepts nominations postmarked by Feb. 1, so proposals continue to arrive and a final number is not expected until late in the month.

Last year, 136 individuals and groups were nominated. The $943,000 prize was shared by the United Nations and its secretary-general, Kofi Annan.

The committee keeps the names of nominees secret for 50 years. However, those making nominations often reveal their choice.

The Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States and the aftermath were expected to influence this year's nominations, because those events were too late to be considered in last year's award.

Other Sept. 11-related nominations mentioned, but not confirmed, include former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Guy Tozzoli, an engineer who helped design the World Trade Center.

Also Monday, two Christian Democratic members of Norway's parliament announced their nomination of the Salvation Army, adding to a list that includes Rome-based Catholic group Church of Sant'Egidio for peace and humanitarian efforts and the Mission of Mercy humanitarian group for work in Latin America.

The Nobel Prize winners are named in mid-October and the awards are always presented on Dec. 10, the day their founder, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, died in 1896. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, and the others in Stockholm, Sweden.