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Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Liu Xiaobo

14 October 2010

It is heartening that Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010. I consider this recognition of Liu Xiaobo to be an affirmation and acknowledgement of growing respect for human dignity and freedom around the world. It also signifies and underscores the essential parameters that are needed to ensure development, peace and reconciliation among peoples and nations.

Another Nobel laureate, Dr Amartya Sen, once described “development as freedom” and “a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy”. Those societies that commit themselves to human dignity make the possibilities of development and fullness of life available to all.

In order to achieve this potential, the human dignity of each individual should be protected. Christian faith respects the dignity of each person created in the image of God. Such core values are embodied in other religious traditions as well as in secular philosophies. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo is a strong message of support to all those around the world who are struggling for freedom, development and the dignity of all human beings. It reminds all of us that each one of us is called to contribute to the common wisdom and understanding of what we need as humanity.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches