In awarding the 1988 prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that “the Peace-keeping Forces of the United Nations have, under extremely difficult conditions, contributed to reducing tensions where an armistice has been negotiated but a peace treaty has yet to be established. In situations of this kind, the UN forces represent the manifest will of the community of nations to achieve peace through negotiations, and the forces have, by their presence, made a decisive contribution towards the initiation of actual peace negotiations.”

In the 1988 Peace Prize Nobel lecture, Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said he hoped the award, and the attention it generated, would “not only strengthen our capacity to conduct the affairs of nations in a more peaceful and just manner. I hope it will also stimulate a wider effort to consider new means and the new institutions which we shall need if we are to assure our common future.”