Following her widely-praised response to the Christchurch mosque shootings, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is now one of the leading candidates to be awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Determined that the terrorist attack would not make communities turn on each other, Ardern immediately moved to build unity in a country devastated by grief. At a remembrance service for the murdered victims, Arden said that “our humanity” was the answer to hatred, and that, “we each hold the power – in our words, in our actions, in our daily acts of kindness.”
Ardern’s empathetic and statesmanlike approach has drawn admiration internationally, including a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. According to bookmaker Coral, Ardern is second favourite to receive the honour this year, at odds of 6/1.
Coral’s favourite to win the prize is Greta Thunberg, who it has priced at 5/1. The self-described “16-year-old climate activist with Asperger” organised a strike of schoolchildren last August to protest government inaction over climate change. Since then the strikes have become an international phenomenon and Thunberg has spoken at both the World Economic Forum in Davos and the UN Climate Talks in Poland.
The schoolgirl from Sweden was nominated for the prize by three Norwegian MPs, including Freddy Andre Ovstegard, who said, “we have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change, it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees.”
This year there are a record 301 candidates for the prize, 223 individuals and 78 organisations. One of those organisations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is third favourite for the award this year at 8/1.
The winner will be chosen by the Norwegian Nobel Committee and announced in October.