Charles Albert Gobat: Diplomat, Peace Activist, Nobel Laureate

OV Digital Desk

Charles Albert Gobat (21 May 1843 – 16 March 1914) was a Swiss lawyer, diplomat, and politician. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1902 for his work promoting international arbitration and disarmament.

Life and Career

He was born on 21 May 1843, in Tramelan, Switzerland. He received his primary education in Tramelan, Switzerland. He later attended secondary school in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Gobat studied law at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and earned his law degree in 1867. He then went to Paris, France, to continue his legal studies at the Sorbonne, where he received a doctorate in law in 1868. In addition to his legal education, he was also well-educated in languages. He was fluent in French, German, and English, and had a good command of Italian and Spanish. This linguistic ability was useful in his later diplomatic and political work.

After completing his education, Gobat worked as a lawyer in Switzerland. He was later elected to the Swiss parliament in 1872, where he served as a member of the National Council until 1896. During this time, he focused on issues related to education, social welfare, and public health. Gobat also served as a member of the Swiss Federal Council from 1895 to 1902, where he was responsible for the Department of Posts and Railways. In this role, he worked to modernize Switzerland’s transportation infrastructure and improve postal services.

In addition to his political work, Gobat was also involved in the international peace movement. He served as secretary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union from 1892 to 1899, where he worked to promote cooperation and communication among parliamentarians from different countries. He also served as President of the Universal Peace Congress in 1899, where he advocated for disarmament and the peaceful settlement of disputes. He was a strong advocate for arbitration as a means of resolving international disputes and worked to promote disarmament and the peaceful settlement of conflicts.

His efforts culminated in the establishment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1899. Charles Albert Gobat died on 16 March 1914, in Bern, Switzerland.

Award

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1902 with Elie Ducommun for his work promoting international arbitration and disarmament.