U.S. President Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, less than a year after taking office in America.
The U.S. leader, who ascended to the presidency in January (09), follows in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Al Gore in receiving the honour.
The prestigious prize was awarded to Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples," according to the Nobel Committee.
The official statement adds, "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."