The Nobel Peace Prize 1999

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1999 to Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), in recognition of the organization's pioneering humanitarian work on several continents.

Since its foundation in the early 1970s, Doctors Without Borders has adhered to the fundamental principle that all disaster victims, whether the disaster is natural or human in origin, have a right to professional assistance, given as quickly and efficiently as possible. National boundaries and political circumstances or sympathies must have no influence on who is to receive humanitarian help. By maintaining a high degree of independence, the organization has succeeded in living up to these ideals.

By intervening so rapidly, Doctors Without Borders calls public attention to humanitarian catastrophes, and by pointing to the causes of such catastrophes, the organization helps to form bodies of public opinion opposed to violations and abuses of power.

In critical situations, marked by violence and brutality, the humanitarian work of Doctors Without Borders enables the organization to create openings for contacts between the opposed parties. At the same time, each fearless and self-sacrificing helper shows each victim a human face, stands for respect for that person's dignity, and is a source of hope for peace and reconciliation.

Oslo, October 15, 1999
Norwegian Nobel Institute
Drammensveien 19, N-0255 Oslo, Norway
Website:  (Link to be opened in new window).
In Norwegian

Nobels Fredspris for 1999

Den Norske Nobelkomite har bestemt at Nobels fredspris for 1999 skal tildeles Leger uten grenser (Médecins Sans Frontières) for organisasjonens banebrytende humanitære innsats på flere kontinenter.

Leger uten grenser har siden opprettelsen tidlig på 1970-tallet hatt som grunnprinsipp at alle ofre for natur- og menneskeskapte katastrofer har krav på profesjonell hjelp så raskt og effektivt som mulig. Nasjonale grenser og politiske forhold eller sympatier må ikke influere på hvem som får humanitær hjelp. Ved høy grad av uavhengighet har organisasjonen gjort det mulig å leve opp til disse idealer.

Ved rask intervensjon har Leger uten grenser kunnet vekke offentlighetens oppmerksomhet om humanitære katastrofer, og ved å påpeke katastrofens årsaker har organisasjonen bidratt til å skape en opinion mot maktmisbruk og overgrep.

I krisesituasjoner preget av vold og brutalitet kan Leger uten grenser, gjennom sitt humanitære arbeid, åpne for kontakt mellom de stridende parter. Samtidig vil den selvoppofrende og fryktesløse hjelpearbeider være et menneskelig ansikt overfor det enkelte offer, representere respekt for dets verdighet og gi håp om fred og forsoning.
Oslo, 15 oktober 1999
Det Norske Nobelinstitutt
Drammensveien 19, N-0255 Oslo, Norway
Website:  (Link to be opened in new window).

Multilingual Human Rights

International Campaign
to Ban Landmines (ICBL)

ICBL NGO-links
Doctors Without Borders

(Médecins Sans Frontières)

& country contact
2004: Wangari Maathai. For her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. She thinks globally and acts locally.
2003: Shirin Ebadi, Iran, 1947-. Lawyer and human rights activist, for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children.
2002: Jimmy Carter, USA, 1924-. For his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts.
2001: The prize was divided equally between: The United Nations ( U.N.) and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, Ghana, 1938- For their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.
2000: Kim Dae Jung, Republic of Korea, 1925-. For his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular.
1999: Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) In recognition of the organisation's pioneering humanitarian work on several continents.
1998: The prize was divided equally between: John Hume, Northern Ireland, 1937-; and David Trimble, Northern Ireland, 1944-. For their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.
1997: The prize was divided equally between: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and Jody Williams, USA, 1950-.
1979: Mother Teresa, India, 1914-1997.
Leader of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity.
BOES.ORG - Children's Rights Across the World