19 Oct 2004

Pacific Peace Prize would draw international attention to regional trouble spots - Swedish academic.

9:16 pm on 19 October 2004

A European academic says a Pacific Peace Prize would help to put the international spotlight on regional trouble spots.

Peter Wallensteen, the Dag Hammarskjold Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Sweden's Uppsala University, raised the idea of a peace prize during a conference on conflict resolution in the Pacific at Christchurch over the weekend.

He says such awards can have a major impact in conflict zones, and he pointed to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to East Timor's Bishop Felipe Ximenes Belo and José Ramos Horta in 1996.

"and that suddenly made that issue much more of a global issue. People became attracted, interested in the issue and it became part of the process which finally found the solution of the East Timor issue after 20 years."

So I think these kinds of prizes can be a way or lifting up an issue but also rewarding people for taking a risk for peace