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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize
2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter
Carter has been a tireless peace campaigner
Former US President Jimmy Carter has been awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The five-member committee chose Mr Carter for "decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development".

Carter achievements
Brokered and signed the Camp David Accords in 1978 between Israel and Egypt
Persuaded former North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung to open discussions with South Korea
Mediated in Haiti in 1994
Helped broker ceasefire in Bosnia
Made 2002 landmark visit to Cuba, calling for dialogue

Although Mr Carter has not openly criticised President George W Bush's policy on Iraq, Friday's award "should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current administration has taken," said Committee chairman Gunnar Berge.

"It's a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States," Mr Berge said.

In his acceptance statement, Mr Carter said he was "deeply grateful" for the honour.

"This honour serves as an inspiration not only to us, but also to suffering people around the world, and I accept it on their behalf," he said.

The former US president also called for greater efforts to promote peace and justice.

"People everywhere share the same dream of a caring community that prevents war and oppression," he said.

Mediation praised

Announcing the decision, the Nobel Committee said that during his presidency from 1977 to 1981, Mr Carter's "mediation was a vital contribution to the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, in itself a great enough achievement to qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize".

"At a time when the cold war between East and West was still predominant, he placed renewed emphasis on the place of human rights in international politics."

Mr Carter is the third US president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize - after Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

He will receive the award at a ceremony at Oslo's City Hall on 10 December - the anniversary of the death of the prize's creator, Swedish industrialist - and the inventor of dynamite - Alfred Nobel.

Other candidates

A record 156 candidates were put forward for the prize this year, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, dissidents and campaigning Irish rock star Bono.

Organisations such as the European Court of Human Rights and the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague were also in the running.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Karzai's post-Taleban role ensured his nomination
New York, which was worst hit in the 11 September 2001 terror attacks, was represented by its former mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The Committee also considered nominations for the Salvation Army, the Tiananmen Mothers, a network of women who lost relatives in the 1989 massacre in Beijing, and the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians.

The BBC's Michael Voss
"This was a Nobel Peace Prize with no clear front runner"
Jimmy Carter's biographer Professor Douglas Brinkley
"Since leaving the White House Carter has worked tirelessly"

Talking PointFORUM
Nobel Peace Prize
You asked a former winner
See also:

11 Oct 02 | Americas
17 May 02 | Newsmakers
10 Oct 02 | Europe
12 Oct 01 | Europe
12 Oct 01 | Europe
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