Colombian President receives the Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2016. The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony has delivered the 2016 Nobel Prize Award to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts in negotiating peace in his country between the Colombian government and the Farc guerrillas.


Colombia President receives the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in the City Hall of the Norwegian city of Oslo. He has been awarded the prize for his resolute efforts to end the more than 50-year-long conflict in Colombia. The conflict has led to the death of at least 220,000 Colombians and the displacement of approximately six million people. Photo: Abdelwaheb Omar/Images Live

The prize was delivered during the Prize Award in the Oslo City Hall where Juan Manuel Santos received a diploma and medal. The Royal Family of Norway were present at the ceremony and at the following banquet together with representatives of the Norwegian Government and Parliament as well as international guests. The Colombian President’s long weekend in Norway has included a visit to a school in order to attend a ‘Save the Children Peace Prize Party’, which was dedicated to him and his efforts in achieving peace in Colombia. Manuel Santos was accompanied by Crown princess Mette Marit Haakonas and by the Crown Prince of Norway. The Colombian President has also held a press conference with Norway Prime Minister Erna Stolberg as well as a meeting with the President of the Storting, Mr Olemic Thommessen, and the supreme Standing Committee of Norway Foreign Affairs and Defence in Oslo.

The committee emphasised Mr. Santo’s ‘resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end’. The committee also highlighted how the war has led to the loss of life of at least 220 000 Colombians in addition to displacing nearly six million of them.


Colombian President attends a ‘Save the Children Peace Prize Party’, which was dedicated to him and his efforts in achieving peace in Colombia. The Party has taken place in an Oslo school to which Manuel Santos was accompanied by Crown princess Mette Marit and Haakon the Crown Prince of Norway. Photo:Abdelwaheb Omar/Images Live

The Colombian President had undertaken negations that culminated in the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels this year. Colombians were then given a chance to voice their opinion in a referendum on October 2nd, but the accord was rejected by a narrow majority only days before the Peace Prize announcement.

The Nobel Committee stated that the award is a tribute to the Colombian people whom have endured so many years of conflict and expressed the danger that the peace process will come to a halt and that civil war will flare up again. Thus it emphases the importance for the parties, headed by President Santos and FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño, to continue to respect the ceasefire.

Santos himself said that he was deeply honoured by the prize and accepted it on behalf of the Colombian people and in particular on behalf of the victims of the decades-long conflict. In his speech at the award ceremony the Colombian President expressed his surprise at the result of the plebiscite called to ratify the peace agreement with the FARC. However, in spite of this unexpected setback he did not loose determination and pursued a broad national dialogue to seek unity and reconciliation as well as the widest possible consensus for reaching a new agreement. Indeed the Colombian government and the FARC signed a revised peace deal on November 24 which was then approved by both the Colombian Congress and the House of Representatives.

Landmine Victims Receive Donation of 25 Prosthesis

Colombia landmine victims receive  free prosthesis. Photo:Juancho Torres/Images Live

The prize ceremony was attended by several victims of the conflict, including former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt, and by Leyner Palacios, who lost 32 relatives as a result of a mortar attack launched by FARC. FARC leaders, who face US international arrests orders when they travel, were not present in Oslo but were represented by a Spanish lawyer who served as a chief negotiator for FARC.

In his acceptance speech the Colombian president said that the award should also be a tribute to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process, to the Colombian people, who have not given up hope of a just peace, and to the countless victims of the civil war, particularly to the 220,000 killed and six million displaced in the longest-running conflict in the western hemisphere. The Colombian conflict has generated the world’s second largest population of internally displaced. Many Colombians have also died or lost limbs due to land mines explosions. Land mines were laid in the country by both the Colombian government and the FARC. President Santos has  pledged to donate almost $1m in Nobel peace prize money to the victims of Colombia’s long conflict. In his speech Santos also put light on the need to rethink the war on drugs.

Report: Tina Lozio and Mara Jini/Images Live