TIME'S MAN OF THE DECADE IS AWARDED
THE 1990 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Gorbachev's Nobel Prize Acceptance
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Gorbachev's Acceptance Speech.
It follows the English
translation of the full text transcript of Mikhail
Gorbachev's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, read by Andrej
Kovaljov and delivered at Oslo, Norway - December 10, 1990.
Esteemed Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel
Committee, Ladies and gentlemen,
I have been
requested by the President of the USSR, Mikhail
Gorbachev, to present his address to the
Norwegian Nobel Committee and to all those
present today at this award ceremony:
To the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel
Committee, Mrs. Gidske Anderson:
I am deeply and personally moved by the decision
of the Nobel Committee to award me the 1990
Nobel Peace Prize.
The prestige and authority of the Nobel Peace
Prize are universally recognized. The prize has
been awarded ever since the beginning of this
century. The disasters and tragedies of this
period, which have not managed to subdue man's
optimism and unflagging belief in human reason,
have given the Peace Prize the unique aura
associated with it today.
Immanuel Kant prophesied that mankind would one
day be faced with a dilemma, either to be joined
in a true union of nations or to perish in a war
of annihilation ending in the extinction of the
human race. Now, as we move from the second to
the third millennium, the clock has struck the
moment of truth.
In this respect, the year 1990 represents a
turning point. It marks the end of the unnatural
division of Europe. Germany has been reunited.
We have begun resolutely to tear down the
material foundations of a military, political
and ideological confrontation. But there are
some very grave threats that have not been
eliminated: the potential for conflict and the
primitive instincts which allow it, aggressive
intentions, and totalitarian traditions.
I would like to assure you that the leadership
of the USSR is doing and will continue to do
everything in its power to ensure that future
developments in Europe and the world as a whole
are based on openness, mutual trust,
international law and universal values.
The recent meeting in Paris of heads of state
and government from the European nations, the
United States and Canada, embodying all the best
elements in international movements such as the
Helsinki Process, has established the framework
for a Europe based on the rule of law,
stability, good relations between neighboring
countries and humane attitudes. It is my hope
that such a Europe will be understood and
accepted by nations and governments in other
parts of the world as an example of universal
security and genuine cooperation.
I do not regard the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize as an
award to me personally, but as a recognition of
what we call perestroika and innovative
political thinking, which is of vital
significance for human destinies all over the
The Nobel Peace Prize for 1990 confirms that
perestroika and innovative political
thinking no longer belong only to us, the people
of the Soviet Union. They are the property of
the whole of mankind and are an inseparable part
of its destiny and of a safe, peaceful future.
We are deeply
grateful to Norway and other members of the
international community who have shown such
understanding and who, through their conduct in
international issues and in their relations with
the Soviet Union, have shown their solidarity as
we proceed with our perestroika and their
sympathy as we struggle to resolve our problems.
If we all took this as our point of departure,
mankind would have no cause to regret the loss
of a unique opportunity for reason and the logic
of peace to prevail over that of war and
Once more, I would like to express my
appreciation for this very great honor. I intend
to do everything in my power to live up to the
expectations and hopes of my countrymen and all
those who support the Nobel Committee's choice.
With my sincere wishes for peace and prosperity,
President of the USSR
This was the address by the winner of the Nobel
Peace Prize for 1990, which I, as his personal
representative, have had the honor of making on
Thank you for your attention.