Nobel Peace Summit: A Report from the President

 Event Report
Rome, December 1, 2003

This has been a year of struggle, war and extraordinary efforts by those who yearn for a world at peace. Despite many set backs, especially the US government’s promotion of new nuclear weapons and doctrines that lower the threshold for use, world opinion is clearly converging on a consensus that abhors all weapons of mass destruction and confirms that war is not an answer to security concerns. Working to end the scourge of war and terrorism, eliminating nuclear weapons, and bringing leadership back onto a course that promises a sustainable future is our collective passion. Men and women with the capacity to inspire and lead are so valuable at this time. I am pleased to share a short report that centers on such people.

An expression of morally coherent and politically sophisticated leadership describes the 4th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which took place in Rome, Italy. I had the privilege of joining the delegation of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) along with delegation leader Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, former Under-Secretary-General of Disarmament at the UN and Special Advisor to the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI); and Senator Douglas Roche O.C., Chairman of the MPI. The Global Security Institute (GSI) is a member of the IPB, which won the Nobel Peace Price in 1910. IPB, in turn, is a founding member of MPI, a program of GSI.Through such a tightly interconnected network of organizations, we coordinate our collective passion for peace and nuclear disarmament. It was gratifying to find that our concerns were completely resonant with some of the world’s most courageous, intelligent and visionary leaders. The Summit’s powerful and inspiring Final Statement (see below), which was co-drafted by our delegation, found broadest acceptance among the Nobel Peace Laureates. Though widely covered by international media, the Final Statement was largely ignored in the United States.

In an effort to give the important Final Statement the prominence and publicity it deserves, I called upon my friend Congressman Edward Markey, who took the laudable initiative to introduce the Final Statement, together with a short report about the Rome Summit, in the United States Congressional Record (see below).

Inspired by the beauty of the Campidoglio (the Capitol), where the Summit took place and where – in a distant past – dreams of empire were realized and dashed, I wish to express my sincere hope that each one of us will heed strongly the closing paragraphs of the Nobel Peace Laureate Statement.

At GSI, we are deeply aware of the privilege of service and take this opportunity to thank you for your support. With our heartfelt wishes for a New Year of renewed and strengthened commitment to peace, and prayers that our lives be blessed with health and love,

Yours truly,

Jonathan Granoff
President, Global Security Institute

Rome Report

From 27 to 30 November 2003, the 4th World Summit of Peace Nobel Laureates took place in Rome, Italy. It was convened upon invitation by Mikhail Gorbachev and Walter Veltroni, Mayor of the City of Rome.

Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, Senator Douglas Roche, Chair of the Middle Powers Initiative, and Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament, participated in the Summit as representatives of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. Ambassador Dhanapala, who led the IPB delegation, is IPB’s Honorary President.

The following Nobel Peace Prize Winners – individuals and organizations – participated in the Summit: The XIV Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Shimon Peres, Joseph Rotblat (represented by Professor Robert Hinde), Oscar Arias Sanchez, Lech Walesa, Betty Williams, Jody Williams, American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, International Labour Organization, International Peace Bureau, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, International Law Institute, Pugwash Conferences, Quakers Peace and Social Witness, United Nations, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and United Nations Peace Keeping Forces.

The Summit’s theme was “Ethics in Politics, Economics and Science.” The IPB delegation worked closely with the Summit organizers in planning the program on Ethics and Policy, and served as facilitator for the three sessions dealing with this topic during the opening day.

Jayantha Dhanapala chaired the first panel on “Ethics, Values and Policy – Our Deeper Unity, Our Common Humanity.” The theme of this session built on the following statement by the UN’s Commission on Global Governance:
“We need a set of common values around which we can unite people, irrespective of their cultural, political, religious or philosophical backgrounds… . Foremost [?] these values must include the duty of care for one’s neighbor. In a neighborhood, all are neighbors. In our global neighborhood, therefore, the duty of care is owed to all who share the planet. This duty, of course, is more compelling the more the neighbor needs care.”
Participants in this panel included Shimon Peres, Yassir Arafat (represented), Lech Walesa, Adolfo Perez Esquivel (represented), and Kofi Annan (represented).

Link: Ambassador Dhanapala’s speech (PDF)

Jonathan Granoff chaired the second panel, entitled “Peace and Security – Multilateral and Disarmament Imperatives.” This session took an integrated approach to security. Numerous human security problems, especially those relating to environmental concerns such as global warming, diminished biodiversity, ozone depletion, and over-fished and polluted oceans can only be addressed effectively through multilateral cooperation. The necessary level of cooperation to resolve these pressing issues will not be obtained unless multilateralism becomes the norm in international affairs. Moreover, the dangers of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction cannot be eliminated unless a universal norm of disarmament is established as is required by the relevant treaties. There remains a moral, ethical and legal duty to work together to obtain the elimination of nuclear weapons and to pursue security in a multilateral manner.
Participants on this panel included Jody Williams, Joseph Rotblat (represented), Oscar Arias Sanchez, Mary Ellen McNish (representing the American Friends Service Committee), Ron McCoy (representing IPPNW), Elizabeth Bernstein (representing the International Campaign to Ban Landmines), and Paolo Cotta Ramusino (representing the Pugwash Conferences).

Link: Jonathan Granoff’s speech (PDF)

Senator Douglas Roche presided over the third and final panel of the opening day, titled “Sustainable Development – Building a Culture of Peace.” This session addressed a sustainable future in the broadest context. Social organization based on inequity and environmental indifference kept in place by force demonstrates the impoverishment of violence. This violence, whether through military application or callous indifference to human suffering, diminishes the human spirit and undermines ethics. All social and political actions must be evaluated on the basis of the explicit ethical standard of whether they enhance or diminish the capacity to develop a Culture of Peace. Not only is peace a right, but it is now an imperative for our collective survival. Peace has become an ethical imperative. And peace now involves not only human rights but a healthy and secure environment.
Speakers on this panel included Mikhail Gorbachev, Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama), Mairead Maguire Corrigan, Jerzy Makarczyk and Christian Dominicé (representing the Institut de Droit International), and Marian Pink (representing Amnesty International).

Link: Senator Roche’s speech (PDF)

Final Statement

The 4th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates concluded with the adoption of a Final Statement. The IPB delegation was actively involved in the Statement’s drafting and translation.

Of particular prominence is the Statement’s call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons:

“The threat of weapons of mass destruction remains with us. We call for an immediate end to the newly resurgent arms race, which is being fueled by a failure to universally ratify a treaty banning nuclear testing, and by doctrines that lower the threshold of use and promote the creation of new nuclear weapons. This is particularly dangerous when coupled with the doctrine of pre-emption.

For some to say that nuclear weapons are good for them but not for others is simply not sustainable. The failure of the nuclear weapons states to abide by their legal pledge to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons, contained in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, is the greatest stimulus to their proliferation.

Nuclear weapons are immoral and we call for their universal legal prohibition. They must be eliminated before they eliminate us.”

Link: Full text of 2003 Final Statement (PDF)

Participants and the organizors of the Summit commended the work of GSI’s support staff, Dr. Urs Cipolat and Nadine Kjellberg. Dr. Cipolat’s contribution to editing and translating the Final Statement was indispensable to its distribution.

U.S. Congressional Record Entry

On December 8, 2003, Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced the Final Statement, together with a short report about the Summit, in the US Congressional Record.

Link: Congressman Markey’s Entry in the U.S. Congressional Record (PDF)

The Nobel Summit’s inspiring Final Statement is used by participants and supporters to advance its themes by setting agendas for discussion and promoting its principles at numerous forums. In the past year, Senator Roche and Jonathan Granoff brought the Final Statement to several world leaders and discussed its contents in depth. Of particular significance were the discussions with President Vicente Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Jean Chretien of Canada.


1. Panel, l to r: Granoff, Cotta (Pugwash), Dalai Lama, Gorbachev, Arias Sanchez
2. Peace Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire Corrigan, Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala
3. Dalai Lama, Jonathan Granoff
4. Sen. Douglas Roche, Dalai Lama, President Gorbachev
5. President Gorbachev and staff, Jonathan Granoff drafting Final Statement

Photos by Urs Cipolat and Nadine Kjellberg.

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