Nobel win reflects ‘hunger for international cooperation’

2020/10/14 13:39

Today's Vocabulary

1. multilateralism (n) 
a situation in which several different countries or organizations work together to achieve something or deal with a problem

2. speculated (v) 
to guess possible answers to a question when you do not have enough information to be certain 

3. chaos (n)  
a state of total confusion with  no order

4. famine (n) 
a situation in which there is not enough food for a great number of people, causing illness and death, or a particular period when this happens

5. humanity (n) 
people in general

6. solidarity (n) 
agreement between and support for the members of a group, especially a political group 

Nobel win reflects ‘hunger for international cooperation’

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has fractured global alliances and go-it-alone has turned ugly, some world leaders say Friday’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the U.N. World Food Program was a commitment to the belief that only a concerted effort can save humanity from further disaster.

Ahead of the announcement, some had speculated that the Nobel might go to a fellow United Nations body, the World Health Organization, which has promoted multilateralism in the face of criticism by President Donald Trump.

The Nobel Committee made it clear this year’s award was a plea for unity.

Alarmed by the apparent chaos, many world leaders used last month’s annual U.N. gathering to issue ringing calls for a return to the multilateralism that the world body has represented for 75 years.

“Solidarity is precisely needed now to address not only the pandemic, but other global tests of our time,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

That last part was a reminder that the WHO, in the midst of arguably the worst pandemic in a century, stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars per year if the U.S. follows on Trump’s intention to withdraw from it completely. The U.S. had been the health agency’s largest donor until Trump announced a halt to funding earlier this year.


  1. What do you know about the Nobel Peace Prize?
  2. How much good does the United Nations do?
  3. How can we reduce world hunger?

“Close to a billion people – one-eighth of the world’s population – still live in hunger. Each year 2 million children die through malnutrition. This is happening at a time when doctors in Britain are warning of the spread of obesity. We are eating too much while others starve.”

Jonathan Sacks