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PRETORIA, November 30 (Itar-Tass) — Three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have spoken up against the Nobel Committee’s decision to award this year’s prize to the European Union.
"The EU is clearly not 'the champion of peace' that Alfred Nobel had in mind when he wrote his will," said the letter which was signed by, in addition to Tutu, 1976 winner Mayrid Maguire of Northern Ireland and Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina, who won the prize in 1980.
"The Norwegian Nobel committee has redefined and remodeled the prize in a manner that is not consistent with the law," they wrote.
The laureates demanded that the EU not be granted the award’s $1.2 million cash prize.
The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the EU on October 12, some 60 years after the conclusion of the Treaty of Paris, for its actions in promoting democracy and human rights in Europe.
The award ceremony will be held in December. Eighteen European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, are expected to be present. Six state leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have refused to attend.
Desmond Tutu, 81, received the Nobel Prize in 1984 for speaking out against the white minority rule over the indigenous population of South Africa. He remains one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the world and has been called the ‘conscience of South Africa.’ This year, Tutu was awarded the 2012 UNESCO / Bilbao Prize for “the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights.”