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Letter to the US President Barack Obama

Letter to the US President Barack Obama at the occasion of his nonimation for the peace Nobel prize

10 October 2009

Mr Barack Obama
United States of America  

Dear Mr President,  

It is with great joy that I take this opportunity to express my profound satisfaction at the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award you this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary-elect of the World Council of Churches, who will succeed me in January 2010, joins in offering you our heartfelt congratulations on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. As citizens of Norway and Kenya, we take pride in our two nations' particular connections to this event.   

The Nobel committee’s decision honours you as a statesman who demonstrates a deep commitment to the cause of peace with justice, and hope for a transformation in this world. This quality of yours was eloquently recognized by the Nobel committee when it stated that only very rarely has a person captured the world’s attention to the extent that you have done already, and given the world's people hope for a better future.

You have shown the world your readiness to set aside serious ideological, political and cultural differences in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation. I am confident that this approach will ensure positive new developments in international relations and diplomacy. Your endorsement of the United Nations resolution on nuclear non-proliferation, your decision to discard U.S. plans to build a missile shield for Eastern Europe, your call to curb greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global warming and your eagerness for easing conflicts with Islamic nations demonstrate your deep commitment to promote peace and reconciliation in today’s troubled world. In all these matters, your administration affirms long-held positions of the World Council of Churches.

Your initiatives for promoting a new ethos and values in international relations based on a diplomacy of mutual recognition and shared responsibilities are vital in our contemporary situation. I am confident that the decision of the Nobel committee to confer this year’s peace prize upon you will go a long way toward accelerating your relentless efforts to contribute to peace. The award is a call and encouragement to build upon the important work you have already initiated.

As you continue to demonstrate your leadership, may God Almighty continue to bless you. On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I assure you of our continuing prayers and support.  

Yours sincerely,  

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary