Nobel laureate world peace summit in Merida this fall

Global forum chose Merida despite competing bids from larger cities

Nobel Peace Prize laureates will convene in Merida this fall. Photo: Courtesy
Nobel Peace Prize laureates will convene in Merida this fall. Photo: Courtesy

Nobel Peace Prize laureates will hold their 20th world summit in Merida, despite competing bids from Mexico City and Querétaro.

The global summit will be held Sept. 19-22 at the Yucatan International Convention Center. Admission to the public will be free.

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, established in 1999, is one of the most renowned forums of its kind around the world. It is based in Rome.

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Merida was selected as a center of “peace and harmony,” the organization said in a statement.

“In the 20 years of its existence the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates has made a significant contribution to the development of ideas and principles of the new thinking in world politics through its activities and statements,” said Nobel Peace laureate and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who founded the summit.

“We appreciate the opportunity to have the summit in the country with a rich historical and cultural background, that through its diversity reminds us permanently about the relevance of being able to connect modern civilization to the roots and wisdom of ancient legacy,” said Ekaterina Zagladina, president of the summit’s permanent secretariat. “We truly believe that the summit will contribute not only to Mexican society, but to everyone who is willing to understand the importance and value of diversity for human relations.”

Yucatan Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal echoed those sentiments, calling the forum “an unprecedented event in Mexico and in Merida. It is an opportunity for a unique dialogue, in which we invite the Mexican people, the business sector, the government and political parties, to work hand in hand, in order to start a national peace movement in which it is demonstrated that from a social reconciliation it is possible to build a better society, and that we can recover the quality of life that should prevail in every society, and that this movement in turn, became a model that can be replicated for the benefit of humanity.”

This year the summit will have both panel discussions with laureates and Nobel Peace-awarded organizations, as well as the educational program “Leading by Example.” The program aims to educate students in peace building, leadership and ethics.

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Over the years, the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates have been honored with the participation of numerous laureates including Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, presidents Shimon Peres, Lech Walesa, Jimmy Carter, Kim Dae Yun, Juan Manuel Santos and José Ramos-Horta, as well as Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Lord David Trimble, and Professor John Hume.

Previous host cities include Rome, Paris, Berlin, Hiroshima, Warsaw, Chicago, Bogota and Barcelona.

During the 2017 summit, in Bogotá, Nobel laureates joined Colombia’s call, gathering 18,000 attendees during four days of the event. More than 40,000 people connected via streaming; around 800 youth from more than 50 countries participated in “Leading by Example.”

Hosting the event will “help us to consolidate Yucatan as a destination where important events can be realized with excellent results thanks to hotel infrastructure, airport connections and the endless tourist attractions that we have in Yucatan.” said Michelle Fridman Hirsch, state head of tourism.

Further information on how to participate will be available soon at www.nobelpeacesummit.com

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