OSLO — President Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica accepted the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, urging the superpowers to stop meddling in Central America and let the region solve its own problems.
"If they cannot refrain from amassing weapons of war, then in the name of God, at least they should leave us in peace," Arias said in his speech accepting the prize, which includes a 23-carat Nobel medallion and a monetary award valued at about $350,000.
Using words from the Bible that seemed aimed more at the U.S.-Soviet summit in Washington than his glittering audience in the Grand Hall of Norway's Oslo University, Arias said:
'Support Efforts for Peace'
"I say to them (the superpowers) with the utmost urgency: Let Central Americans decide the future of Central America. . . . Support the efforts for peace instead of the forces of war. Send our people plowshares instead of swords, pruning hooks instead of spears."
Arias, the 86th recipient of the Peace Prize established by Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and, at 46, one of the youngest, said the prestige of the prize should enhance the prospects of the Central American peace accord signed Aug. 7 by himself and the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Meanwhile, at a white-tie ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustav handed the Nobel Prize in literature to exiled Soviet poet Joseph Brodsky and gave seven other laureates their awards for economics, physics, medicine and chemistry.
Brodsky, now an American citizen, won the literature prize for his writing in both Russian and English.
Americans Charles J. Pedersen and Donald J. Cram shared the chemistry prize with Frenchman Jean-Marie Lehn for their work with synthetic molecules.
Robert M. Solow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology got the economics prize for his theory of economic growth.
Susumu Tonegawa, a Japanese national also working at MIT, won the medicine award for his theoretical work on the body's immune system.
The physics prize was shared by co-workers K. Alex Muller, a Swiss, and J. Georg Bednorz, a West German, for discovering the superconductive quality of a ceramic material.