Ex-Nobel committee advisor denies breaching confidentiality

2015-09-22 22:02
The Norwegian Nobel Institute.  (<a href=www.shutterstock.com>Shutterstock</a>)

The Norwegian Nobel Institute. (Shutterstock)

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Stockholm - The former secretary of the committee that selects the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize denied on Tuesday that he had breached a code of confidentiality in a new book on the secretive panel.

Geir Lundestad - who left his post in December - last week published the book, Fredens sekretaer (Secretary of Peace).

In the book he said the committee was "largely agreed" on sometimes controversial choices, including that of US President Barack Obama in 2009 and the European Union in 2012.

Lundestad was for 25 years non-voting secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. During that period he also headed the Norwegian Nobel Institute that assists the five-strong panel in vetting candidates nominated for the peace prize.

Lundestad wrote critically on former committee chair Thorbjorn Jagland, saying he was unwilling to learn from others.

He also wrote how one committee member was sceptical about giving the 2007 award to the UN climate panel, the IPCC.

Lundestad revealed that in 1993 he was asked to contact 1984 Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa about the feasibility of giving that year's peace prize to then South African president FW de Klerk and ANC leader Nelson Mandela.

Tutu had supported the choice, he said.

The committee said late on Monday it considered that Lundestad had violated the code of confidentiality that the committee's work depended on, declining to discuss the matter further.

Nominations and deliberations of the committee are sealed for 50 years.

The peace prize is one of several endowed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  desmond tutu  |  fw de klerk  |  norway

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