Nobel Laureate Not Attending World Summit of Peace Laureates in the US
NOBEL LAUREATES, 23 Apr 2012
I write to let you know that I have decided not to attend the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates 23-25 April, 2012 in Chicago, Ill.
On 10 April US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in a video at the Department of State website that, “the USDS is proud to be an active partner in this event”. She gave details of how the department is working with US embassies around the world to bring 20 students and four teachers from four countries to Chicago, explaining that video conferences and portals for live streaming of events will be managed by the US Department of State.
I have therefore decided, with some sadness, not to associate myself with this partnership as I do not agree with many USDS policies. Indeed I have, as a Nobel Peace laureate — and in the spirit of Alfred Nobel — often called for disbandment of NATO, end of militarism and war, and for disarmament and demilitarization. I cannot, in good conscience, be part of a partnership with the US government and by association with NATO. I also believe that my participation in such an event would compromise my position and put in jeopardy my work in the Middle East and other countries.
I am very disappointed that what could be a great opportunity for young people to listen, learn, and exchange friendships and experiences with Nobel Peace laureates, has been, I believe, seriously compromised by such a partnership.
However, I wish it to be an enjoyable and educational summit, particularly for the young people attending, and I feel deeply saddened not to be with you
Mairead Maguire, 13 Apr 2012
Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 Apr 2012.
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