On the 9th of December, five extremely excited students and Jelena, our faculty escort, settled into the school minibus to start our nightlong journey by bus to Oslo. Every one of us was looking forward to witnessing what is perhaps the most prestigious award ceremony in the world: The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony.
This year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was receiving the honor for its unparalleled contribution in the field of the abolition of chemical arms, especially its work recently in Syria. The OPCW is an inter-governmental organization, located in The Hague, Netherlands that strives towards the goal of the complete disarmament of chemical weaponry. So far 190 countries have ratified the Convention to become OPCW members. On the 10th of December Ahmet Uzumcu received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization in an elegant press-covered event and expressed his hope that those countries who have not yet signed and ratified the convention do so. It is encouraging that some of those countries joined the convention in early January 2014.
Starting with the soft drinks and cakes reception where the students got the opportunity to mingle with Oslo’s finest, the entire ceremony itself was great. Held annually in the Oslo City Hall, the organizers had spared no expense to create an event that was inspiring and enchanting. The presence of the Norwegian King Harald and Queen Sonja further enhanced the seriousness of the ceremony. With beautiful decorations, classical music performed by renowned musicians and speeches from the presidents of the Nobel Peace Prize committee and the OPCW, the entire ceremony encompassed Alfred Nobel’s dedication to world peace.
In the evening (after a good meal in the city centre) we also attended the Torch Rally held in honor of the winners. Unlike in the City Hall, in this beautifully flame-lit procession, the majority were young people who carried torches from Oslo’s central station to the Grand Hotel. The OPCW representatives were waving to the cheering crowd from the Hotel’s balcony. It was great to see so many young Norwegians coming together to support the Nobel Prize and OPCW’s efforts for world peace.
All in all the whole day was amazing – not many have the chance to experience what we did, and we returned to the College inspired and happy.
Yondeen Sherpa (RCN 12-14)
The attendees were students were Julia Romare (Sweden), Gong Pei (China), Leonardo Olivetti (Italy),Thea Solbakken Sæterdal (Norway) and Yondeen Sherpa (Nepal) and teacher Jelena Belamaric (Croatia).