Good morning. Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this
morning. After I received the news, Malia walked in and said,
"Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo's birthday!"
And then Sasha added, "Plus, we have a three-day weekend
coming up." So it's good to have kids to keep things in
I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of
the Nobel Committee. Let me be clear: I do not view it
as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as
an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations
held by people in all nations.
To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the
company of so many of the transformative figures who've been
honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me
and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit
But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world
that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build
-- a world that gives life to the promise of our founding
documents. And I know that throughout history, the Nobel
Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement;
it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of
causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call
to action -- a call for all nations to confront the common
challenges of the 21st century.
These challenges can't be met by any one leader or any one
nation. And that's why my administration has worked to establish
a new era of engagement in which all nations must take responsibility
for the world we seek. We cannot tolerate a world in which
nuclear weapons spread to more nations and in which the terror
of a nuclear holocaust endangers more people. And that's why
we've begun to take concrete steps to pursue a world without
nuclear weapons, because all nations have the right to pursue
peaceful nuclear power, but all nations have the responsibility
to demonstrate their peaceful intentions.
We cannot accept the growing threat posed by climate change,
which could forever damage the world that we pass on to our
children -- sowing conflict and famine; destroying coastlines
and emptying cities. And that's why all nations must now accept
their share of responsibility for transforming the way that
we use energy.
We can't allow the differences between peoples to define
the way that we see one another, and that's why we must pursue
a new beginning among people of different faiths and races
and religions; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect.
And we must all do our part to resolve those conflicts that
have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years,
and that effort must include an unwavering commitment that
finally realizes that the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians
to live in peace and security in nations of their own.
We can't accept a world in which more people are denied opportunity
and dignity that all people yearn for -- the ability to get
an education and make a decent living; the security that you
won't have to live in fear of disease or violence without
hope for the future.
And even as we strive to seek a world in which conflicts
are resolved peacefully and prosperity is widely shared, we
have to confront the world as we know it today. I am the Commander-in-Chief
of a country that's responsible for ending a war and working
in another theater to confront a ruthless adversary that directly
threatens the American people and our allies. I'm also aware
that we are dealing with the impact of a global economic crisis
that has left millions of Americans looking for work. These
are concerns that I confront every day on behalf of the American
Some of the work confronting us will not be completed during
my presidency. Some, like the elimination of nuclear weapons,
may not be completed in my lifetime. But I know these challenges
can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be
met by one person or one nation alone. This award is not simply
about the efforts of my administration -- it's about the courageous
efforts of people around the world.
And that's why this award must be shared with everyone who
strives for justice and dignity -- for the young woman who
marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to
be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets; for the
leader imprisoned in her own home because she refuses to abandon
her commitment to democracy; for the soldier who sacrificed
through tour after tour of duty on behalf of someone half
a world away; and for all those men and women across the world
who sacrifice their safety and their freedom and sometime
their lives for the cause of peace.
That has always been the cause of America. That's why the
world has always looked to America. And that's why I believe
America will continue to lead.
Thank you very much.