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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

United Nations and Kofi Annan Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Aired October 12, 2001 - 06:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We have a fitting counterpart to our coverage of America's new war: peace. You know, it could be the world's highest honor -- the Nobel Peace Prize.

About an hour ago, the Nobel Committee announced this year's recipients, and they are the United Nation's and its secretary- general, Kofi Annan.

CNN's senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth joins us now. He's got more on that for us -- good morning, Richard.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Leon.

Of course, this is tailor made for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, an organization that its chairman said this morning is based on seeking increasing cooperation between states and countries in the world, and this is the 100th centenary anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the United Nations has been around for 55 of those 100 years.

So the United Nations itself won, and its top diplomat, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, are co-winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Annan was praised for championing human rights. He has been very strong on a campaign of so-called humanitarian interventionism that at times countries may have to let international peacekeepers and outsiders come in to correct human rights situations. He has been very hard on that theme.

He also was praised by the Nobel Prize Committee for being efficient, using the resources, even some of the outdated resources of the United Nations, and also for increasing the paramount importance of the United Nations in this time. The committee chairman saying the only negotiable role to peace and negotiations goes through the United Nations.

U.N. spokesman, Fred Ekhardt, knew ahead of the time that the United Nations was on the short list.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED EKHARDT, U.N. SPOKESPERSON: There was a lot of speculation in the media over the last week that it might be the United Nations and him personally. As it turned out, they both got it -- the organization and the secretary-general. I don't think you can ever be sure about these rumors of who might get it, so I think there was still an element of surprise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROTH: In fact, when I asked Secretary-General Annan on Monday or Tuesday about the possibility of him winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he said, I think you still believe in rumors or reporting rumors. Well, now it's a fact. And spokesman Fred Ekhardt was the man who told the secretary-general that he had won. He said he was very happy, but he was especially pleased that the organization had triumphed.

One U.N. political officer, a few moments ago I spoke to said, she is very happy and proud (ph), and it's significant and a big boost to the future of the organization -- Leon.

HARRIS: Richard, we should note for those who are wondering where you are. You are standing in front of Kofi Annan's home, is that correct?

ROTH: That is correct -- on Manhattan's east side, and soon, Mr. Annan is expected to come out and talk to reporters -- they have been kind here, serving coffee to the waiting reporters -- and will then go to U.N. headquarters, where he's going to get a very nice reception.

Everybody is a winner today at the United Nations in these quite vulnerable times in the world.

HARRIS: All right. Be a good guest, Richard, don't make a mess -- Richard Roth standing outside of Kofi Annan's home -- good to see you again -- take care.

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