GSI Event Report
by Jonathan Granoff (Head of Delegation),
Alyn Ware (IPB Vice-President), and
Urs Cipolat (programme and technical support)
Rome, Italy November 12, 2004
From 10-13 November, twenty-five Nobel Peace Laureates and their organizations met in Rome, Italy to consider vital issues of multi-ethnicity, human rights and terrorism under the theme of a divided world or a united world.
This, the 5th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, was organized by the Gorbachev Foundation and hosted by the Mayor of Rome. It focused the wisdom and experience of Nobel Laureates on key issues of concern today, and sought to increase the communication and collaboration between Nobel Peace Laureates in order to strengthen their individual and collective contribution to world peace.
The Summit bestowed the ‘Man for Peace 2004’ award on Yusuf Islam (see below), held an interactive session with over 2000 students, released a statement condemning the house arrest of fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, paid its respects to fellow Nobel Laureate Yassar Arrafat who passed away during the Summit, and produced a final statement which indicated areas of grave concern including a resurgent nuclear and conventional arms race, disrespect for international law, and the failure of the world’s governments to address adequately the challenges of poverty and environmental degradation.
The Nobel laureates called for action in a number of key areas in order to transform a growing cult of violence into the building of a culture of peace. These included:
· Addressing the root causes of terrorism in order to respond effectively to such threats without recourse to the use of force
· Ensuring that all children are protected from war and that they are educated in and for peace
· Resolution of the conflict on the Korean peninsula through the development of security assurances, lifting of sanctions and an end to nuclear weapons programmes
· Resolution of the Iranian nuclear program issue through the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency
· Reduction of military expenditures and conclusion of a treaty controlling the arms trade
· Implementation of the UN Millennium goals on development assistance, fair trade, market access and debt relief
· Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and development of a framework treaty to assure adequate access to water
· Increased efforts in good faith to solve the Middle East crisis
· Preservation and strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, emphasizing the legal responsibility of the nuclear weapon States to work to eliminate nuclear weapons
· Support for the work of the United Nations High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
The Nobel Peace Laureates also called for increased interaction between parliamentarians and civil society in order to accomplish these goals.
Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, has played an active role in previous Nobel Summits, and was invited by the Gorbachev Foundation to do so again. He and Alyn Ware (Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau) formed the delegation of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. They were assisted by Dr. Urs Cipolat.
Other Nobel laureates included Mikhail Gorbachev, Kim Dae-Jung, Lech Walsea, Joseph Rotblat, Jose Ramos Horta, Betty Williams,Miaread Corrigan Maguire, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, United Nations Children’s Fund, Pugwash Conferences, International Peace Bureau, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Institut de Droit International, American Friends Service Committee, Médicins sans Frontières, Amnesty International, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Labour Organisation, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Albert Schweitzer Institute and the United Nations.
Following the Summit, many of the Nobel Laureates participated in an informal strategy meeting to discuss how best they could collaborate to distribute and promote the final statement and to enact its calls. The meeting also included discussion on proposals to strengthen the collective voice of Nobel Peace Laureates through increased collaboration.
The delegation played a number of key roles in the Summit.
· chaired the sessions devoted to Terrorism and Other Threats to Humanity. This was the largest and most in depth session at the Summit.
· gave several speeches on values, elimination of nuclear weapons, international norms and the integration of the security agenda with human rights and sustainable development
· distributed a landmark paper Reflections on Human Unity – with programmatic proposals
· was a principal drafter for the Final Statement of the Summit and the Call for Freedom for Aung San San Suu Kyi at the request of the Nobel laureates and particularly Mikhael Gorbachev
· helped organize and chaired the three-hour interactive session between Nobel laureates and over 2000 graduate students and other youth
· convened and chaired the post-summit strategy meeting,
· was interviewed by a number of TV and print media reporters,
· chaired the final press conference.
· spoke on education for a culture of peace and gave a well received slide show
· circulated the Florence Appeal – visions and proposals for a world of peace developed by IPB over the course of a year’s deliberations with peace advocates from around the world, and aiming to feed into the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
· highlighted the importance of engaging with parliamentarians
· ensured that the importance of peace education was included in the final statement
· promoted an Appeal on Reducing the Risks of Nuclear Weapons which calls for the removal of nuclear warheads from delivery systems, abandoning launch-on-warning policies and pledges of no-first-use.
· participated in the final press conference and was also interviewed by a number of TV and print media.
Urs Cipolat provided vital programmatic and logistical support including circulation of support documents, arranging meetings and interviews, taking photos, interpreting at meetings, and translating key documents into Italian including the final statement.
Participation in the Summit was very beneficial to the Global Security Institute, IPB and the Summit itself. It provided an ideal opportunity to promote GSI concerns and programmes – particularly those relating to nuclear weapons – to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of related programmes by the other laureates’ organizations and to build positive and collaborative relations with them.
The delegation conducted numerous informal meetings with Nobel laureates – including GSI board members – relating to projects of GSI, Middle Powers Initiative and the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament. They also took the opportunity in Rome to conduct meetings in the Senate and House of Deputies in order to promote the engagement of parliamentarians in disarmament issues.
There was considerable support amongst the Nobel Peace Laureates to increase the positive impact they could make collectively on current security issues through greater collaboration. The fact that the Laureates come from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives provides a source of richness and credibility for such a role. However, it also provides sources for conflicts in the efforts to achieve a common voice on various issues. The delegation played a vital role in mediating such conflicts, helping the laureates appreciate the deep human values which they all shared, and in reflecting this in the final statement and in the work towards greater collaboration between the laureates.
The work of the Nobel Peace Laureates, and especially the final statement, provide a strong and credible platform for the promotion of peace that can be used to assist peace and justice campaigns universally.
GSI made a commitment to assist distribute the final statement to key government officials, former heads of State, parliamentarians, church leaders and civil society leaders in order to enhance its impact.
Nobel Laureates Bestow ‘Man for Peace’ Award on Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
The 5th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, meeting in Rome from November 10-13, bestowed the ‘Man for Peace’ Award on Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). The award, an art piece designed by Franco Scepi, was given to Yusuf Islam to honour the work he has done through Small Kindness, the humanitarian organization he founded to alleviate the suffering of children in war-torn areas including Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro and Iraq, and for other work for orphans, homeless children, children affected by aids, and victims of the September 11 terrorist attack.
The Nobel Laureates recognized the work of Yusuf Islam in providing humanitarian assistance, facilitating reconciliation, opposing terrorism in all forms and promoting peace and respect between religious and ethnic communities.
The award was presented by the Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni and by Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Laureate and President of the Gorbachev Foundation.