Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway Tuesday. The Nobel committee said it chose Mr. Carter for what it called his lifetime of work for peace, human rights and social development.

The former president appealed for peace and understanding, something he said is critical now, in a very dangerous world. Mr. Carter said war may sometimes be a ?necessary evil.? But in an apparent reference to a potential U.S. led military campaign against Iraq, he warned engaging in a preventive war could have ?catastrophic consequences.? He said the best way to deal with world problems is through the United Nations.

?If we accept the premise that the United Nations is the best avenue for the maintenance of peace, then the carefully considered decisions of the U.N. Security Council must be enforced. All too often the alternative has proven to be uncontrollable violence and expanding spheres of hostility.?

He cited the Middle East conflict as the most vivid example of that. While he was president, Mr. Carter played an important role in trying to create peace in the Middle East, brokering the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt, which were signed at the White House in March 1979.

After he left the White House, he continued to mediate international disputes as well as to monitor elections in developing nations. Mr. Carter said the root cause of many conflicts is economic inequality, and rich nations should do more to help poorer ones.

?God gives us a capacity for choice, we can choose to alleviate suffering, we can chose to work together for peace, we can make these changes and we must.?

The former President?s Carter Center does just that. He will use the $1,100,000 award that comes with the Nobel Peace Prize, to continue his work for peace.