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Carter Wins Nobel Peace Prize - 2002-10-11

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for what the Norwegian Nobel Committee described as efforts to resolve conflicts and promote peace, democracy and human rights around the world. Mr. Carter will receive the one-million-dollar award at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10.

In its announcement of the prize, the Norwegian committee cited what it called Mr. Carter's decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.

Mr. Carter, who was U.S. president from 1977 to 1981, brokered the 1978 Camp David peace accord between Egypt and Israel. The Nobel Peace Prize that year was shared by then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The Norwegian Committee had also wanted to include Mr. Carter among the recipients, but he was left out because he was not formally nominated in time.

This year's announcement singles out Mr. Carter's contribution to the Camp David agreement, as well as his unstinting activity in fighting tropical diseases and working for social progress in developing countries.

And Gunnar Berge, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, also praises him for promoting the cause of human rights, both during and after his presidency and for continuing to work for world peace.

"When the Cold War between East and West was still predominant, he placed renewed emphasis on the place of human rights in international politics," he said. "Through his Carter Center, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2002, Carter has, since his presidency, undertaken very extensive and persevering conflict resolutions on several continents."

In announcing the award Friday, Mr. Berge also appeared to fault current U.S. foreign policy by contrasting Mr. Carter's attempts to resolve conflict with the Bush administration's drive to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for what it says is Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction.

"In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must, as far as possible, be resolved through mediation and international cooperation, based on international law, respect for human rights and economic development," said Mr. Berge.

Mr. Carter has said it would be a tragic and costly error for the United States to attack Iraq, without the support of the United Nations.