2001 – United Nations and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (born in 1938), a politician and diplomat from Ghana. The UN and its Secretary General received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world. The uncontroversial and symbolic candidatures of the United Nations and its leader were universally expected to become Peace Prize winners named to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kofi Annan was born in an aristocratic family of Ghanian tribal leaders. He undertook university studies in Ghana and continued his education at Swiss and US universities, including the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr Annan joined the UN in 1962,...

2000 – Kim Dae-jung (1925-2009), South Korean politician, President of the Republic of Korea from 1998-2003. President Dae-jung was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work for democracy and human rights, and in particular for reconciliation with North Korea.

While living in exile in Japan and the US, Kim Dae-jung organised opposition against then South Korea’s dictator Park Chung-hee in the early 1970s. Many times imprisoned, he was sentenced to death, kidnapped, tortured and exiled from his home country. Despite his...

1998 – John Hume (born in 1937) i David Trimble (1944), politicians from Northern Ireland, key architects of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. Hume and Trimble were awarded for their efforts to to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

John Hume was a long-standing leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the main political grouping of Northern Ireland Catholics. In the late 1960s Mr Hume was a key figure of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. In 1969 he was elected as an...

1997 – International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the campaign's coordinator Jody Williams (born in 1950), US social activist. The laureates received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines.

Jody Williams oversaw the growth of the ICBL to a point where the initiative included more than 1,000 NGOs in more than sixty countries. She was the chief strategist and spokesperson for the campaign. In recognition of her expertise, Ms Williams was invited to serve...

1996 – Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo (born in 1948) and Jose Ramos-Horta (1949), leaders of the peaceful struggle for the self-determination of East Timor. The laureates were awarded for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor. East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, had been occupied by Indonesia until 1999. The country was later administered by the UN, ultimately to regain independence in 2002.

Shortly after being appointed the Apostolic Administrator of Dili, the capital of East Timor, in 1983, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo denounced the brutal Indonesian occupation of the province. He was consecrated a Bishop in 1988. Despite numerous threats to his life,...