Alva Myrdal and Alfonso García Robles are Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Alva Myrdal and Alfonso García Robles have, in the opinion of the Committee, proved outstanding candidates for two reasons.
In the first place owing to their magnificent work in the disarmament negotiations of the United Nations, where they have both played crucial roles and won international recognition; and secondly because, too, they have made such a notable contribution to the task of informing world opinion on the problems of armaments and of arousing the acceptance by the general public of their joint responsibility for the train of events.
Alva Reimer Myrdal (31 January 1902 – 1 February 1986) was a Swedish sociologist and politician. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982. She married Gunnar Myrdal in 1924.
Born in Uppsala, she first came to public notice in the 1930s, and was one of the main driving forces in the creation of the Swedish welfare state. She coauthored with Gunnar Myrdal the book entitled Crisis in the Population Question (Swedish: Kris i befolkningsfrågan, 1934). The basic premise of Crisis in the Population Question is to find what social reforms are needed to allow for individual liberty (especially for women) while also promoting child-bearing, and encouraging Swedes to have children. While heralding many sweeping social reforms seen as positive for Sweden, the book also incorporated some of the zeitgeist of the 1930s, in its promotion of the idea of eugenics and compulsory sterilization programs. With architect Sven Markelius she designed Stockholm's cooperative Collective House in 1937 with an eye towards developing more domestic liberty for women.
A long-time prominent member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, in the late 1940s she became involved in international issues with the United Nations, appointed to head its section on welfare policy in 1949. From 1950 to 1955 she was chairman of UNESCO's social science section—the first woman to hold such prominent positions in the UN.
In 1962 she was elected the Swedish parliament and in 1962 she was sent as the Swedish delegate to the UN disarmament conference in Geneva, a role she kept until 1973. In 1966 she was also made consultative Cabinet minister for disarmament, which she also held until 1973. It was as a vocal supporter of disarmament that she in 1982 received the Nobel Peace Prize together with Alfonso Garcia Robles.
She is the mother of Jan Myrdal, Sissela Bok and Kaj Fölster.
Alfonso García Robles (20 March 1911 – 2 September 1991) was a Mexican diplomat and politician who, in conjunction with Sweden's Alva Myrdal, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982.
García Robles was born in Zamora, Michoacán, and trained in law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) before joining his country's foreign service in 1939. He served as a delegate to the 1945 San Francisco Conference that established the United Nations. He was ambassador to Brazil from 1962 to 1964, and was state secretary to the ministry of foreign affairs from 1964 to 1970. In 1971-75 he served as his country's representative to the United Nations before an appointment as foreign minister in 1975-76. He was then appointed as Mexico's permanent representative to the Committee on Disarmament.
García Robles received the peace prize as the driving force behind the Treaty of Tlatelolco, setting up a nuclear-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean. The agreement was signed in 1967 by most states in the region, though some states took some time to ratify the agreement.
He was admitted to the Colegio Nacional in 1972.