At 4am, the news that president Obama received the Nobel peace prize came to me just as unexpected at it was for all of us. However, as the dust settled, and president Obama finally responded with his speech in the White House's rose garden saying that the prize is "an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations." I have to admit a growing sense of admiration and honor by his response to the unexpected, yet often controversial, award. The Financial Times reports:
Awarding the SKr10m ($1.4m) prize, the Nobel committee said: “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”
Mr Obama, appearing in the White House rose garden, on Friday morning said he was "both surprised and deeply humbled” to win the peace prize.
"I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honoured by this prize,” the president said. "Let me be clear. I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations."
Mr Obama said other countries should view the award as a "call to action” to jointly address global challenges.
Barack Obama speaks in the White House Rose Garden after the US president was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize- Image by the Financial Times