Bookmakers have the World Health Organization as the most likely winner for 2021, for its work during the pandemic.

The annual Nobel Peace Prize shines the brightest of lights on the person or group thought to have done most to promote peace. But guessing who it will be is just a stab in the dark, the Associated Press reports.

That’s because the secretive Norwegian Nobel Committee never drops any advance hints. In the past decade, winners have included diplomats, doctors, dissidents and presidents. Who were the other candidates? We can’t know for sure — the panel keeps their ruminations in a vault for 50 years.

Bookmakers have the World Health Organization as the most likely winner for 2021, for its work during the pandemic.

But Rupert Adams at William Hill, one of Britain’s biggest bookies, jokes that picking a winner is “the world’s most difficult job,” adding he “can’t think of a harder market to price.” The company has nailed it only once this century — Malala Yousafzai in 2014.

Still, people like to make guesses.

Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, says the pandemic is an important backdrop to this year’s prize. But he scrapped plans to make COVAX, the United Nations-sponsored vaccine equity organization, his top pick. Rollout of COVID-19 jabs to poor countries has been too slow, he says.

Instead, the Nobel tipster says “the problems of public disinformation” might be recognized by the panel. He picks Reporters Without Borders as his favorite, saying the committee could recognize an organization “focused on the importance of independent reporting and press freedom in the face of the dire risks.”

© Copyright LaPresse