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A Renewed Understanding of Peace at the 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

September 25, 2019

As previously reported, the 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates gathered in Mérida, Mexico from September 19-22, 2019, to make an urgent call to all countries and organizations of the world, their leaders and citizens, to build a culture for peace. The Parliament of the World’s Religions was represented on stage by Ambassador for Peace, Security and Nuclear Disarmament, Jonathan Granoff as he moderated the session Four Priorities for Nuclear Disarmament and by Parliament Chair, Audrey Kitagawa off stage as she connected with attendees and speakers alike.
The Summit gathered around the theme Leave Your Mark For Peace and addressed various important issues including: social and economic development, indigenous peoples’ cultures and regional peace, global demographics, global media responsibility in peacebuilding, nuclear disarmament, rule of law and international cooperation, and peace education.
Nobel Prize Winners in attendance included: former Presidents Frederik Willem de Klerk from South Africa; Juan Manuel Santos from Colombia, Lech Walesa from Poland; Lord David Trimble, First Minister of Northern Ireland; Shirin Ebadi, first female jurist in Iran; Leymah Gbowee, a peace activist from Liberia who helped to end a civil war; Tawakkol Karman, Yemeni human rights activist and founder of Women Journalists Without Chains; Rigoberta Menchu Túm, known for dedicating her life to promoting the rights of indigenous people; Kailash Satyarthi, children’s rights activist from India who has released 85 000+ children slaves; and Jody Williams, American activist known for her work to ban anti-personnel landmines.
Ms. Kitagawa was able to meet with a number of Laureates and carried out short interviews featuring Leymah Gbowee and Kailash Satyarthi, enjoy below.​

The Summit also featured representatives of the prize-awarded organisations and Peace Laureates Foundations such as Institute of International Law, American Friends Service Committee, Albert Schweitzer Institute, The King Center, International Labour Organization, Amnesty International, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Nelson Mandela Foundation, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet,  International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Yunus Centre,Grameen Creative Lab, Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, International Committee of the Red Cross,International Peace Bureau,and the UN.
The 17th World Summit concluded with the Mérida Declaration, adopted by the Nobel Peace Laureates and Peace Laureate Organisations, which calls for a renewed understanding of the concept of peace. Read the complete declaration here!
The Summit also featured a special address by Pope Francis, a performance by Ricky Martin and a climate strike in solidarity with youth around the world. The laureates in attendance issued a statement in solidarity with the youth-led Global Climate Strike and called for immediate action at the United Nations emergency climate summit in New York City taking place this week.
Enjoy images from the Summit below!