Five distinguished recipients of the Nobel peace prize were hailed on Friday 7 October by the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
The world churches' chief offered his greetings and best wishes to Archbishop Emeritus 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.
Dr 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 in the morning on 7 October 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.
Later in the day a tribute by Dr Tveit was presented at a memorial service in the Ecumenical Centre chapel in Geneva for the late Professor Dr Wangari Maathai of Kenya.
Dr Maathai, who died on 25 September 2011, had been an important participant in a number of conferences and committees of the WCC related to ecological justice and peace.
* WCC message to recipients of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/general-secretary/statem...