The Nobel Peace Prize
Nineteen years after its founding, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965.
On 26 October 1965, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "fulfilling the condition of Nobel's will, the promotion of brotherhood among the nations” and emerging on the world stage as a “a peace-factor of great importance.” This event was made possible by the growth of a global partnership involving governments, private and non-governmental organizations and the world's peoples, to take advantage of increasing opportunities for improving the lives of children everywhere.
Compassion knows no boundaries
"Everyone has understood the language of UNICEF ... even the most reluctant person is bound to admit that in action UNICEF has proved that compassion knows no national boundaries. Aid is given to all children without any distinction of race, creed, nationality or political conviction ... UNICEF has become an international device capable of liberating hundreds of millions of children from ignorance, disease, malnutrition and starvation ... The aim of UNICEF is to spread a table decked with all the good things that Nature provides for all the children of the world ... UNICEF offers young people an alternative worth living and working for, a world of freedom for all people, equality between all races, brotherhood among all men."
-- From the Nobel Citation, 1965
To all of us in UNICEF, the prize will be a wonderful incentive to greater efforts in the name of peace. You have given us new strength. You have reinforced our profound belief that each time UNICEF contributes ... to giving today’s children a chance to grow into useful and happier citizens, it contributes to removing some of the seeds of world tension and future conflicts.
Referring to the more than 120 governments (at the time) who were voluntary contributors to supporting UNICEF’s work for children, and to countries who were receiving UNICEF assistance, Mr. Labouisse said: “Such world-wide cooperation contributes, in itself, to a better understanding within the family of Man. But to me, the great, the most important meaning of this Nobel award is the solemn recognition that the welfare of today’s children is inseparably linked with the peace of tomorrow’s world. The sufferings end privations to which I have referred do not ennoble. They frustrate and embitter. The longer the world tolerates the slow war of attrition which poverty and ignorance now wage against 800 million children in the developing countries, the more likely it becomes that our hope for lasting peace will be the ultimate casualty.”