Norwegian parliament speaker to head Nobel Committee

Other News Materials 3 December 2008 15:33 (UTC +04:00)

Norwegian Parliament Speaker Thorbjorn Jagland was Wednesday named new chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that selects the Nobel Peace Prize winner, reported dpa.

The veteran Social Democrat has also held the posts of prime minister and foreign minister but earlier this year said he was leaving Norwegian politics.

Jagland, 58, succeeds Ole Danbolt Mjos as head of the five-member Nobel Committee as of January 2009.

The committee is elected by parliament, and each member sits for six years.

Mjos will December 10 present the Nobel Peace Prize to former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari who was recognized for mediating in a number of international conflicts.

The Peace Prize is one of the prizes endowed by Swedish industrialist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.

Awards for medicine, physics, chemistry literature and economics are presented in Stockholm - also on December 10.

Jagland has also been mentioned as a candidate for secretary general of the Council of Europe.

The 47-nation Council of Europe was founded in 1949. Its aims include to safeguard human rights.