Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has accepted the Nobel Peace Prize of 2016 at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital, Oslo recently.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the prize to Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to an end.
The war has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.
“It is much more difficult to achieve peace than to wage war,” Santos said in a speech after receiving the prize. “The real prize is the peace in Colombia.”
“This honourable distinction is not for me, it’s for all the victims of the conflict. Together we’ll win the most important award of them all: peace.”
The committee acknowledged the result, saying: “What the ‘No’ side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement.”
He said the agreement reached between the government and FARC fighters offers a template for solving conflicts from Syria to South Sudan.
“The Colombian peace agreement is a ray of hope in a world troubled by so many conflicts and so much intolerance,” he said.
“It proves that what, at first, seems impossible, through perseverance may become possible even in Syria or Yemen or South Sudan.”
The audience included victims of war as well as Norway’s King Harald and his family.