Nobel Peace Laureates to U.S.: Stop War Mongering!
Every year in Denver, CO, the program PeaceJam brings youth together to learn about peacemaking from winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. This year 10 Nobel Laureates showed up. Their message to the U.S.: Stop war mongering, use your wealth to help developing nations, quit violating international law and human rights, quit treating other nations and international institutions like the United Nations as servants for the U.S. instead of equal partners deserving of respect. I hope someone in Washington is listening; I am glad the youth of America are.
The 10 participating Nobel Laureates are:
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu (South Africa, 1984), retired Anglican archbishop of Capetown who was awarded the prize for his role in the nonviolent wing of the struggle against apartheid.
- The Honorable Oscar Arias, currently president of Costa Rica (again, after being out of office for some time) who was awarded the prize in 1987 for the Arias peace plan which ended years of fighting in Central America.
- Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala, 1992), for her work with indigenous peoples and women for human rights.
- The Dalai Lama (Tibet, 1989) who won for his role in working peacefully to secure Tibet’s independence from China and for his role in promoting global peace.
- Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma, 1991) is still under house arrest and spoke to the group via video. She nonviolently led a movement against the military government in Burma and succeeded in getting elections in which her pro-democracy party won by a landslide. Instead of seating her as Prime Minister, the military government has arrested her and brutally suppressed the pro-democracy movement.
- Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Betty Williams (Northern Ireland, 1977) began the Irish peace movement.
- Jody Williams (USA, 1997), leader of the global movement against landmines–a movement which has even enlisted many high ranking military officers in several nations to call for a complete ban on landmines–which kill more civilians than soldiers and continue to kill long after a war is over.
- Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina, 1980), almost single handedly creating the movement for democracy, human rights, and nonviolence throughout Latin America. A sculptor by trade.
- Jose Ramos-Horta (East Timor, 1996), recently elected president of E. Timor, he worked nonviolently to end the occupation of E. Timor by Indonesia.
- Sherin Ebadi (Iran, 2003), attorney and (formerly) first woman judge in Iran, Ms. Ebadi won for her persistant work for human rights, especially the rights of women and children, in Iran.
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