WCC general secretary honours Nobel peace laureates

Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu (left) and Wangari Maathai (right) with Archbishop Zaccheaus Okoth at the ecumenical opening ceremony of the World Social Forum 2007 in Nairobi. Photo: William Stanley/WCC

Five recipients of the Nobel peace prize were hailed on Friday 7 October by the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). He offered his greetings and best wishes to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one-time member of the WCC staff and former general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.


Tveit also formally acknowledged the commitment and achievements of the three women who are to be awarded this year’s Nobel prize for peace. It was announced on Friday morning that the prize will be shared by Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Roberta Gwobee of Liberia and Yemeni woman’s rights activist Tawakkul Karman.


On Friday afternoon, a tribute by Tveit to the late Professor Dr Wangari Maathai of Kenya was presented at a memorial service in the Ecumenical Centre chapel in Geneva. Maathai, who died on 25 September, had participated in a number of conferences and committees of the WCC related to ecological justice and peace.