VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican has praised the surprise win for U.S. President Barack Obama of the 2009 Nobel peace prize.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the win this morning, and said they awarded the prize to Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons."
In late September, the U.S. president chaired a summit of the U.N. Security Council that unanimously approved a resolution drafted by the United States that envisaged a world without nuclear weapons.
The Vatican press office was quick to release a note of congratulation, saying that Obama deserved it for his "promotion of peace in the international sphere, and also in particular in favor of nuclear disarmament."
"It is hoped that this most important recognition will ultimately encourage such a difficult but fundamental commitment for the future of humanity, so that it might bring the expected results," the statement added.
Critics of the Nobel committee's decision note that Obama has been in office less than nine months, and hasn't had time to deliver much more than a vision.
Obama promised to end the Iraq war if elected president, but has been slow to bring troops home from Iraq. He recently ordered 21,000 extra troops to Afghanistan this year.
Earlier this week, three Americans were awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in physics for creating the technology behind digital photography, and for work in fiber optics.
On Monday, three American scientists also shared the Nobel Prize in medicine for advancing progress on cancer research.