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.
"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