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LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE QUIET PROFESSIONALS

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE QUIET PROFESSIONALS

This Friday morning, somebody is going to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and if you’re the betting type, chances are you think that somebody is South Korean President Moon Jae-in, possibly along with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un. Donald Trump is also considered a favorite – even President Moon has said the US President deserves the award for helping kick-start the process that has led to a fragile détente along the 38th parallel.


Awarding the peace prize to any combination of these three men would be controversial to say the least. Granting it to Kim would mean giving one of the planet’s most ruthless despots one of its most coveted prizes. Giving the nod to Trump would imply an endorsement of his controversial America First foreign policy. And while all three leaders can claim some credit for this year’s diplomatic opening, the work remains unfinished. The thaw is tentative and there is a long way to go between here and the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

Not that the Nobel committee is above awarding people for unrealized accomplishments: Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin won in 1994 for opening the way to a Middle East peace that never materialized. Another South Korean President – Kim Dae-jung – won in 2000 for an earlier effort at rapprochement between North and South that didn’t last. And who could forget that in 2009 the committee bestowed it on the recently-inaugurated (and somewhat bemused) US president Barack Obama for, well… just being Barack Obama.

Here’s another idea: the Nobel committee could look beyond the headline-grabbing choices in favor of a candidate few people have heard of. That’s also happened before. Think of Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s first female judge and a longtime advocate for women and children’s rights, who got the nod in 2003. In that case, the committee was hoping the award would “reduce tensions between the Islamic and Western worlds” and signal support for Iranian reformers. In addition, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Médecins Sans Frontières are among the international organizations awarded the peace prize in recent years to highlight their diligent, largely behind-the-scenes work on some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The refugee crises unfolding in North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and parts of South and Central America, the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and transnational issues like cybersecurity are creating new challenges to peace. And there are plenty of people and organizations doing their best to help that would benefit from the added political heft and fundraising clout that a Nobel Peace Prize can bring.

Honoring the quiet professionals who work largely outside the limelight on one of these issues would be a strong political statement at a time when it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish global politics from reality TV. And it might encourage more young people to learn about and take up the difficult work of making the world a safer, more peaceful place.

 

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

The long-simmering conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a region called Nagorno-Karabakh erupted over the weekend, with more than 50 killed (so far) in the fiercest fighting in years. Will it escalate into an all-out war that threatens regional stability and drags in major outside players?

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On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

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Watch Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

A new war breaking out between Armenia and Azerbaijan, not a new conflict. They've been fighting over contested territory that used to be a part of the Azeri Soviet Socialist Republic. Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous region. It was taken by the Armenians. It's a mostly Armenian enclave in terms of population. It's been contested since that military fight. There's been ongoing negotiations. The Azeris a number of months ago tried some shelling. They got pasted. This time around, it's war and for a few reasons.

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Join us tomorrow, September 29th, at 11 am ET for a GZERO Town Hall livestream event, Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic, to learn about the latest in the global hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch here at 11am ET: https://www.gzeromedia.com/events/town-hall-ending-the-covid-19-pandemic-livestream/

Our panel will discuss where things really stand on vaccine development, the political and economic challenges of distribution, and what societies need to be focused on until vaccine arrives in large scale. This event is the second in a series presented by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group.

Apoorva Mandavilli, science & global health reporter for the New York Times, will moderate a conversation with:

  • Lynda Stuart, Deputy Director, Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director, Energy, Climate & Resources, Eurasia Group
  • Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gayle E. Smith, President & CEO, ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

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