Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS




In 1950 Bunche was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his successful mediation of a series of armistice agreements between the new nation of Israel and four Arab neighbors, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
It was the first, and to date it remains the only, time that all the parties to the Middle East conflict signed armistice agreements with Israel. In being awarded the Peace Prize, Bunche became the first person of color in the world to be so honored. (Other notable contenders for the prize that year included Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Albert Schweitzer and George C. Marshall.)

"The United Nations exists not merely to preserve the peace but also to make change -- even radical change -- possible without violent upheaval. The United Nations has no vested interests in the status quo. It seeks a more secure world, a better world, a world of progress for all peoples. In the dynamic world society which is the objective of the United Nations, all peoples must have equality and equal rights."

-Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Oslo University, Norway, December 11, 1950


Home | Early Influences | Scholar-Activist | Drive to Decolonize | Mr. UN
The Peacemaker | Man & the Myth | Timeline | Educational Resources
Making the Movie | Site Credits