This year's Nobel Peace Prize will be as "interesting" as the ones awarded to Barack Obama and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said on September 29.
Under the two-year leadership of Thorbjoern Jagland, an ex-Norwegian prime minister, the Nobel Peace Prize has been given to the US President, then less than a year in office, and to the jailed democracy activist, infuriating Beijing to this day.
"I believe it will be an interesting prize also this year," said Jagland when asked how this year's laureate could compare with the previous two.
Jagland, who has been on a drive to give the Peace Prize a more global heft after an era in which laureates included environmentalists and a micro-loan pioneer, said the reaction to two prizes to Obama and Liu had been an encouragement to continue in the same direction.
"The way that these two prizes have been welcomed in the world has emboldened me, and I think as well the committee."
This year's award may recognize activists who helped unleash the revolutionary wave that swept through North Africa and the Middle East, closed watchers of the award have said, citing the committee's desire to address the day's big issues and to impact current events.
A record 241 candidates, of which 53 are organizations, have been nominated for this year's award, worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.5 million).
Among the known nominees this year are WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange, Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim, Afghan human rights advocate Sima Samar, the European Union and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.