Former Oslo Bishop Gunnar Stålsett has been awarded the 30th Niwano Peace Prize, in recognition of his extraordinary and persistent work for peace.
An award presentation ceremony will take place in Tokyo on May 16. In addition to an award certificate, Bishop Stalsett will receive a medal and 20 million yen.
In selecting Bishop Stalsett as an awardee for 2013, the Peace Prize Committee said he is "a tireless worker for peace" involved in a host of conflict situations around the globe over many years. The committee also commended "his solid and incessant commitment to peace in concrete mediation activities in various parts of the world." Bishop Stalsett "has proved himself a determined, highly effective and creative peace builder," achieving "important, durable results that have affected millions of people," it added.
Stålsett says in a comment to the newspaper Vårt Land that he is pleased and honoured by the award.
The Niwano Peace Prize was established in 1983 to honor and encourage individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to inter-religious understanding and cooperation, thereby furthering the cause of world peace. To avoid undue emphasis on any particular religion or region, nominations are solicited from some 600 people and organizations, representing 125 countries. The prize is named in honor of the founder and first president of the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai, Nikkyo Niwano.