The Nobel Peace Prize for 2001
The United Nations and its Secretary-General Kofi Annan were chosen to receive the prize “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world”. The Norwegian Nobel Committee further said: “Today the organization is at the forefront of efforts to achieve peace and security in the world and of the international mobilization aimed at meeting the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges”.
The Committee "wishes to both honour the work that the UN and its Secretary-General Kofi Annan have already done, and to encourage them to go ahead along the road to a still more forceful and dynamic United Nations." Han Seung-soo, President of the UN General Assembly, expressed his hope "that the international community will view this award (...) as a beacon illuminating the way forward for the United Nations as it rises to confront new challenges".
Kofi Annan: "Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security"
The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Kofi Annan: "No one has done more than Kofi Annan to revitalise the UN. After taking office as the UN's seventh Secretary-General in January, 1997, he managed in a very short time to give the UN an external prestige and an internal morale the likes of which the organization had hardly seen in its over fifty-year history, with the possible exception of its very first optimistic years."
In his acceptance speech Secretary General Kofi Annan stated: "Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security". Annan told UN staff he hoped that winning the prize "will urge us forward and encourage all of us to tackle our tasks with even greater determination".