Oran Young has received the Mohn prize
– An outstanding award for an outstanding person, said Prime Minister Støre when he presented the International Mohn Prize for outstanding research related to the Arctic to Professor Oran Young.
The Prime Minister emphasized that it was a personal joy and honor to give the Mohn prize 2024 to Young, and that Young has had a unique understanding of the Arctic since the end of the Cold War. Young's analyses and work have moved research and development forward, and created important arenas for the people in the North.
– I have personally seen how research, politics and people come together in the Arctic in a way that is unique in the world. We can largely thank you for that, Professor Young, said Støre.
It's about people
The award ceremony marked the start of day three at Arctic Frontiers, a conference which is precisely trying to bring together research, politics, governing powers and people. UiT rector Dag Rune Olsen spoke on behalf of the steering committee for the Mohn prize, and highlighted Young's work to build a new vision for cooperation in the Arctic.
– Bringing together research and politics towards a common goal is exactly what the Mohn Prize is meant to recognize, said Olsen.
– We need new narratives
Professor Oran Young called the Mohn prize a capstone in his 50-year career, and talked about how he basically just wants to understand how the world works.
The Mohn Seminar
Read more about the Mohn Prize here: https://en.uit.no/mohnprize/aboutmohn.
– I want to understand why some systems fail and some systems are successful. And I think it's about analysts and practitioners needing a common narrative if one is to succeed, he said.
Young believes that the common narrative of peace and cooperation in the Arctic after the Cold War is the reason why the Arctic is now relatively free of conflict. But we are at a critical point where we need new goals:
– We need a new narrative that embraces both local, regional, national and international perspectives. And that give everyone real opportunities and voices, based on mutual respect, said Young.
Won't close the door
Both Young and Støre pointed out that all the players around the Arctic table are not present at the moment, but it is important to not close the door completely, in case they return.
– And the Arctic Council is an arena for such meetings, an arena that you were particularly important in creating, Professor Young, said the Prime Minister.
Award winner Young said he in no way is giving up on his desire to understand:
– As the Prime Minister said, this is about people and the conversations they have. And I hope to be part of these discussions for a while yet, concluded Young.