US President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in giving the world 'hope for a better future' and for contributing to nuclear disarmament.
The decision to award such a respected accolade to a president, who has not yet even completed his first term, came as a surprise and has resulted in condemnation from international critics who doubt the tangible results of his promises.
Since taking office President Obama has been vocal in calling for nuclear disarmament and has pledged to restart peace talks within the Middle East.
According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Obama has, as President, 'created a new climate in international politics'.
"Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play," the committee said. "Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting."
Obama has declared that it is his agenda 'to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons'.
He has, however, admitted that he is not the first American president to set that goal and acknowledged that it might not be reached in his lifetime.
The Obama administration has still declined to set any date for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and is still embroiled in staggered talks with North Korea over the country's disputed nuclear programme.
In a meeting with American peace negotiators in the Middle East this week, Israel's Foreign minister warned that there was no chance of an early solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that people must 'learn to live with it'.