New Zealand has missed out on one of our own scooping the Nobel Peace Prize, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was considered a contender.
Giving the United Nations' World Food Programme the award might have seemed like a let-down for people expecting an individual to get it.
But the WFP does important work battling hunger and helping nearly a million people around the globe. The Nobel committee noted that the coronavirus pandemic has meant an upsurge in levels of hunger and at present "food is the best vaccine against chaos".
Ardern was thought to be in the running for her responses to the Christchurch terror attack and New Zealand's Covid-19 outbreak.
The world could clearly do with more empathic and decisive leadership - regardless of people's views of decisions made as those crises unfolded.
The pandemic has dominated the world this year and the problem of far-right, and often white supremacist, violence is a still growing threat.
While a prestigious award would have been further recognition, the Prime Minister has seen her star rise on the world stage.
New Zealand's ability to snuff the coronavirus out in the community – twice – offers a hopeful example of what is possible to beleaguered populations overseas. It is positive publicity for this country.
That means more influence for Ardern in the bank, especially in a world where few leaders can deliver a combination of competence, appeal, and a distinctive style.
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was another favourite for the award.
Thunberg's lone protest outside her country's parliament became a snowball that rolled around the world.
The teenager's distinctive pitch, demanding results from the political elite, is more effective and credible as a call from the outside. An official Nobel stamp of approval would be counter-productive and unnecessary.
The push for changes to improve the world's prospects over global warming will require action from both insiders and outsiders.
Leaders, governments, businesses, science and technology, and citizens all have a role, but so do activists and protesters in drawing attention to the environmental crisis and trying to keep officials honest.
Thunberg epitomises the power of public pressure, as people feel increasingly powerless and life seems more uncertain.
Which makes the winning Nobel choice a canny one.
It appears to be a show of support for a key global institution as international cooperation has suffered and agencies have been undermined this year. It is an example of systemic approaches to problems and what can be achieved when countries work together.
As such, it is a wise use of the Nobel committee's standing.
The World Health Organisation might have been a more obvious choice, but it has been caught up in political squabbles over "who knew what" in the early days of the outbreak.
Countries have tended to look inwards to deal with the virus and economic downturn, although cooperative efforts have increased.
Still, the United States withdrew support from the WHO and has not joined the Covax initiative to distribute Covid-19 vaccines around the world, just as it previously withdrew from the multi-country Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord.
China is joining Covax and Britain is stepping up to become the WHO's largest state donor.
The rest of the world is waiting for the US election to see whether the country will put its weight behind efforts to tackle international problems.