Norway, Oslo, 10 Dec 2009: President Barack H. Obama has accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with the acknowledgment that he is only at the beginning of his "labors on the world stage." President Obama said that his accomplishments are much less compared to other Nobel laureates like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
On Thursday in Oslo, Norway, at the awards ceremony, President Obama said that his "accomplishments are slight" compared to Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. He said activists who have been "jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice" or serve as humanitarians around the world are far more deserving of the honor.
The President acknowledged the irony of accepting the Nobel Peace Prize as he prepares to send an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan. He told the dignitaries gathered that the war against ‘Taliban’ and Al Qaida terrorist network was a conflict, the United States of America did not seek, but compelled - a reference to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and near Washington, D.C.
Mr. Obama quoted U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Junior, from his 1964 Nobel Peace acceptance speech, saying "violence never brings permanent peace." But the president said in his role as a head of state, he has "to face the world as it is." Mr. Obama said there will be times when nations will find the use of force "not only necessary, but morally justified."
The president and his wife Michelle went to the Nobel Institute upon arriving in Oslo, where he signed the guest book and viewed the photographs of past winners, including U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Junior. Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
President Obama said that he will donate the prize money, about $1.4 million, to charity.