SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, December 5, 2019 — The 18th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (WSNPL) will be held in Seoul in 2020. The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, established in 1999, is one of the most relevant and celebrated events related to the peace dialogue around the world. It was founded by former President and Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, to enhance the Peace movements and humanitarian activities of the world. President Gorbachev, who remains chair of the Permanent Secretariat’s of the WSNPL Honorary Board, launched the “World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates” in 1999 in Rome, Italy to convene Nobel Peace Laureates and Organizations to share their unique experiences and expertise as knowledge providers through a common platform with government leaders and all members of civil society, especially youth. The most recent Summits have been held in Barcelona, Spain (15th), in Bogota, Colombia (16th), and in Merida, Mexico (17th). In the 20+ years of its history, this is the second time the WSNPL is coming to Asia, after Hiroshima, Japan hosted the event in 2010.
The Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (Permanent Secretariat of the WSNPL) decided to hold the 18th Nobel Peace Summit in Seoul, the capital of South Korea that is known today not only for its economic growth and cultural characteristics, but also for being the last divided country in the word. The Secretariat of the WSNPL praises Inter-Korean efforts to reach sustainable peace in the region and firmly believes that any opportunity of an open and productive dialogue for peace is in need here. The city of Seoul was chosen to be the host of the Summit as the capital of South Korea that has a symbolic meaning for the rest of the world while showing the devastating history of the country. The strong commitment to the values and the main idea of the Summit given the situation that inter-Korean peace issues are attracting the world’s attention was also taken into account. It is also important to mention that being the capital of the country Seoul has excellent international infrastructure that fully meets the requirements of the event.
The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Seoul in 2020 will gather Nobel Peace Laureates and international experts, peace architects and young activists, representatives of the renown organisations and high-profile authorities as well as the civil society willing to contribute to the improvement of inter-Korean relations and to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. The WSNPL is expected to bring a new fresh and inspiring vision of peace for the generation and to share Korea’s experiences in overcoming past conflicts and divisions and in achieving lasting peace and development.
The official organizers of the 2020 Nobel Peace Summit are the Seoul Metropolitan Government as the Official Host, and the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates as the Official Worldwide Organizer of the Summits. Within the days of the Summit various programs, multiple peace events and peace initiatives will be held where citizens can participate, such as photo exhibitions of Nobel Peace Laureates, a peace concert, and cultural events in symbolic places for peace, for instance, the DMZ, to share a message of peace with people around the world as well as the citizens.
The official educational programme of the WSNPL “Leading by Example” launched in 2012 by the Permanent Secretariat of the WSNPL will provide together with the City of Seoul important opportunities in Korea for university students to interact with the Nobel Peace Prize winners and to learn from the peace champions from all over the world. More than 1000 students and academicians are expected to participate in the programme including 800 students and young leaders from Korea and around selected 400 students and supervisors from the world’s recognised educational institutions and youth NGOs.
In recognition of its contribution to peace, Seoul will be declared as a “City of Peace ” by the Permanent Secretariat of the WSNPL during the Summit. The title is usually given by Nobel Peace Laureates and the Permanent Secretariat of the WSNPL to the host city for one year.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said, “We hope that the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates will help us to promote Seoul as a symbol of peace beyond war and division in order to attract global attention to peace on the Korean Peninsula.” and added, “Through this opportunity, we will promote the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and further secure international support for the Seoul-Pyongyang co-hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics as another symbol of sustainable peace in the region.”
“Choosing the destination for the next Summit, we were attracted by the strong commitment that the South Korea have shown for working towards world peace. We all have been watching the great transformation of the Korean peninsula in recent years, from a region of tension and many concerns, to the exchanges and cooperation between the two Koreas to ensure sustainable peace in the region. Today, several decades after the Cold War ended, Korea remains the only divided country in the world and there is work to be done for peace and reconciliation in the region. We firmly believe that the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and inspiring energy of Nobel Peace Laureates will bring a solid impact for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the Northeast Asian region and have chosen Seoul as the symbol of the country’s history and challenges”, stated the President of the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Ekaterina Zagladina.
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About the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. For 20 years, the Nobel Peace Summit has travelled around the world as the annual platform for Nobel Peace Laureates, world leaders, and peace activists to collaborate and engage in peace dialogues for the benefit of civil society and humanity. The meeting that started as a great idea of President Mikhail Gorbachev, who gathered his Nobel Peace Laureate colleagues and around a 1 000 people during the first Summit in 1999, has grown considerably. Throughout the years, around 75 000 people have attended the summit all over the world. Since the launch of our youth programme, “Leading by Example” in 2012, over 5 000 youth have been encouraged to create and develop their own projects for peace on community levels, which have been supported by numerous partners. These now include 145 universities and international organisations. Among the Programme’s most recent achievements, special mention must go to the creation of the Peace Curriculum at Universities, which is already starting to be implemented in partner universities.
Over the years, the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates have been honoured with the participation of numerous Nobel Peace Laureate and Nobel Peace Organisations, including: President Mikhail Gorbachev, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, President Shimon Peres, President Lech Walesa, President FW de Klerk, President Jimmy Carter, President José Ramos-Horta, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Lord David Trimble, Professor John Hume, President Kim Dae Yung, President Juan Manuel Santos and other globally-recognised leaders. Previous landmark host cities include: Rome, Paris, Berlin, Hiroshima, Warsaw, Chicago, Bogotá, Barcelona and Mérida.
During the last Summit in Mérida, Yucatan in September 2019, 30 Nobel Peace Laureates and Laureate Organisations were in attendance, gathering 7 800 attendees during four days of the event, more than 25 000 people connected via live streaming; and over 1 000 youth delegates from more than 60 countries participated in the “Leading by Example” programme. The Summit offers free access to the public. Further information on how to participate will be available soon at www.nobelpeacesummit.com.
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