The Nobel Peace Banquet

Dr. ElBaradei at the Nobel BanquetThe Nobel Committee hosted a banquet in honour of the Peace Laureates Dr. ElBaradei and the IAEA. The banquet was held at the Grand Hotel in the evening of the Award Ceremony.

IAEA Spokesperson Melissa Fleming shares her impression of the event:

" In black tie and long dress, guests circulated in a setting of subdued elegance in the ball room of Grand Hotel – nothing flashy but the atmosphere was charged. Even Hollywood actresses Salma Hayek and Julianne Moore blended in with the crowd. Salma soon started hugging members of Dr. ElBaradei´s family one by one, wondering out loud if his mother could help her find a husband! The chatter was all about his brilliant speech, with some veterans even citing it as the best ever made in the chambers of Oslo City Hall.

The tables were arranged, clustered closely around the head table, filling circles with Norwegian influence, ElBaradei kin, IAEA staff and some people of fame. Once the wine turned red, and the third or fourth toast was spoken (which echoed through the room as voices wise and acclaimed) the volume rose to a robust pitch, as if the emotions of the day were suddenly set free. In his toast, speaker of the parliament Torbjojn Jagaland said, "You can´t do away with this knowledge, but with the weapons made out of this knowledge… You are not representing any political interests… You don´t recommend pre-emptive strikes, you recommend preventive actions."

Most shunned the Aquvit but indulged in the rich chocolate dessert crowned with a white sugar peace dove. As mine melted on my tongue, I felt deep admiration for this little country that looms so large in its crusade for peace."