The Nobel Peace Prize, the prestigious global award from the Nobel Foundation, received a timely boost yesterday some eight months before the 2005 winner is due to be announced. According to a 'leaked' list, the pop star Bono is one of 166 nominees for this year's honour. Other names on the list include Ravi Shankar, Pope John Paul II and for US Secretary of State Colin Powell. According to reports, none of these global personalities is likely to be among the top contenders; rather, it is expected that the prize will go to an individual or group in Asia, in the wake of the Tsunami disaster.
Nonetheless, the leaked list does help to keep the awards in the public domain. It is the second time that Bono has been nominated. The Third World debt relief campaigner was also in the running for the prize in 2003. The Nobel Peace Prize has traditionally been awarded to individuals or groups who persue humanitarian work and/or human rights issues. The first (joint) winners, in 1901, were the founder of the Red Cross group, Henry Dunant, and international pacifist Frederic Passy. More recent winners have included Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela.