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Peace May Be Prized, But Sydney Award Is Just A Joke

And the award for most prolific peacemaker of 2019 goes to … Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia? Who has ever heard of him? We want Greta!

That was the story last month when the Norwegian Nobel Committee bucked popular demands that this year’s Peace Prize be awarded to teen climate celebrity Greta Thunberg, and instead handed over the gold medal, diploma and 9 million Swedish kronor to a 43-year-old African politician.

At more than twice Greta’s age, Ahmed has had time to participate in an armed insurrection, serve as a UN peacekeeper, get elected to a national parliament, be appointed a cabinet minister and rise to become chairman of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (yes, that’s a thing) — all before becoming his country’s Prime Minister last year and rapidly brokering peace deals with and among all its neighbours.

Ahmed’s Nobel prize disappointed a lot of people, but it made a fortune for the bookies. So many people bet on Greta that by Nobel day her odds were shorter than 1-2. All that money stayed with the house. The gambling execs better blow their windfalls on zero-emissions Teslas this bonus season, instead of the traditional Ferraris and Lamborghinis. They owe it to Greta.

Not so aloofly noble as the Nobels, the local Sydney Peace Foundation gave this year’s Sydney Peace Prize to the #MeToo movement, crediting it with “empowering survivors of sexual harassment and violence … championing truth and justice … (and) launching a demand for change that is sweeping the world”.

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Sydney-based globalization expert Salvatore Babones is available to speak on the Chinese economy (demographics, growth, technology), the Belt & Road Initiative, global trade networks, and Australia-China relations. Contact: