The Nobel Women’s Initiative (NWI) was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. At NWI’s First International Conference two weeks ago, Oil Change International’s Antonia Juhasz joined Yanar Mohammed from Iraq to educate participants on the perils of the proposed Iraqi oil law. The Nobel Peace Prize laureates subsequently issued the following statement:

In Opposition to the Iraq Oil Law

(19 June 2007) In support of the people of Iraq, we the undersigned Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, state our opposition to the Iraq Oil Law. We also oppose the decision of the United States government to require that the Iraq government pass the Oil Law as a condition of continued reconstruction aid in legislation passed on May 24, 2007.

A law with the potential to so radically transform the basic economic security of the people of Iraq should not be forced on Iraq while it is under occupation and in such a weak negotiating position vis-à-vis both the U.S. government and foreign oil corporations.

The Iraq Oil Law could benefit foreign oil companies at the expense of the Iraqi people, deny the Iraqi people economic security, create greater instability, and move the country further away from peace.

The U.S. government should leave the matter of how Iraq will address the future of its oil system to the Iraqi people to be dealt with at a time when they are free from occupation and more able to engage in truly democratic decision-making.

It is immoral and illegal to use war and invasion as mechanisms for robbing a people of their vital natural resources.

Signed by:
Betty Williams
Mairead Corrigan Maguire
Prof. Jody Williams
Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Prof. Wangari Maathai

Download a pdf of the statement.


  • I join with you in speaking out against the countries, including my own country, Canada, of practices that divide countries so that oil companies can continue to prosper at the expense of local citizens. I do not approve of western countries making decisions that benefit themselves and leaves other countries and their citizens without a voice and without security of self , to say nothing of food and shelter.


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