Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize as a Call to Action

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Oct 9 (IANS) A "surprised and deeply humbled" President Barack Obama said Friday he would accept the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize "as a call to action".

"I am both surprised and deeply humbled" by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, a beaming Obama said in brief remarks in the White House Rose Garden.

"I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments. But rather as an affirmation of American leadership.... I will accept this award as a call to action, " he said adding he did not feel he deserves "to be in the company" of past winners.

The committee said it decided to honour Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

Casting the award as a broader recognition of American ideals versus a commendation of his record, he said: "This award is simply not about the efforts of my administration, it's about the courageous efforts of people around the world."

"To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve" the award when compared to "so many of the transformative figures that have been honoured by this prize," he said.

The president said the Nobel Prize often serves as a way to create momentum, and that is how he views it.

He said his administration is working to establish a "new era of engagement" and highlighted efforts to end the spread of nuclear weapons and combat global climate change.

He also noted that he is still confronting two wars and a global economic crisis.

"I am the commander in chief of a country that's responsible for ending a war and working in another theatre to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people and our allies," he said, "These are concerns I confront every day on behalf of the American people."

On a lighter note, the president noted that shortly after he awoke to the news his daughter Malia came in to his room and announced: "Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize - and it is Bo's birthday." His younger daughter Sasha also noted that there is a three day holiday weekend to enjoy.

"It's good to have kids to keep things in perspective," he said.


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Title: Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize as a Call to Action

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