The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize is to be shared between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its director general, Mohamed ElBaradei.

The Nobel committee said the IAEA and ElBaradei have been awarded the prize “for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.”

Noting that the IAEA works to ensure that nuclear energy is not misused for military purposes, the committee stated: “At a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing, the Norwegian Nobel committee wishes to underline that this threat must be met through the broadest possible international cooperation. This principle finds its clearest expression today in the work of the IAEA and its director general.”

Reacting to the news, Greenpeace International said there is a “fundamental contradiction of the IAEA’s dual role as nuclear policeman and nuclear salesman.” The anti-nuclear NGO commented: “ElBaradei’s role as head of the pro nuclear IAEA calls into question the wisdom of making him a Nobel laureate. The IAEA, while tasked with policing the spread of nuclear weapons is also responsible for spreading the very technologies and materials used to make nuclear weapons. However, in opposing the Iraq war and championing a nuclear-free Middle East, ElBaradei has in recent years been a voice of sanity in the world of nuclear non-proliferation.”