The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its director, Mohamed ElBaradei. The Norwegian Nobel Committee made the announcement Friday in Oslo.
It said the U.N. agency and Mr. ElBaradei will share the award equally "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure the safety of atomic energy when it is used for peaceful purposes."
At the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, spokeswoman Melissa Flemming said the agency is elated and extremely proud to win the award. Several world leaders and diplomats, including U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, praised the IAEA and Mr. ElBaradei for winning the prize, and for their ongoing efforts to make the world safe.
Mr. ElBaradei, who is a former Egyptian diplomat, has headed the IAEA since 1997. The prestigious Nobel Peace prize is worth 1.3 million dollars. This year's award comes 60 years after the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.