Nobel Peace Prize puts focus squarely on the war in Ukraine

Oslo: Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatski, Russian human rights organisation Memorial and Ukrainian human rights organisation Centre for Civil Liberties have won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

The prize was announced on Friday at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo.

The war in Ukraine has been the focus of 2022 Nobel Prize-winning work.Credit:Getty

The award has in the past put a spotlight on groups and activists trying to prevent conflicts, alleviate hardship and protect human rights.

Last year’s winners have faced a tough time since receiving the prize. Journalists Dmitry Muratov, of Russia, and Maria Ressa, of the Philippines, have been fighting for the survival of their news organisations, defying government efforts to silence them

They were honoured last year for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Monday with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo receiving the award in medicine for unlocking secrets of Neanderthal DNA that provided key insights into our immune system.

Three scientists jointly won the prize in physics Tuesday. Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John F. Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger had shown that tiny particles can retain a connection with each other even when separated, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement, that can be used for specialised computing and to encrypt information.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to Americans Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, and Danish scientist Morten Meldal for developing a way of “snapping molecules together” that can be used to explore cells, map DNA and design drugs that can target diseases such as cancer more precisely.

French author Annie Ernaux won this year’s Nobel Prize in literature Thursday. The panel commended her for blending fiction and autobiography in books that fearlessly mine her experiences as a working-class woman to explore life in France since the 1940s.

The 2022 Nobel Prize in economics will be announced on Monday.

The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $US900,000) and will be handed out on December 10. The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1895.

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