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26 laureates confirmed for Nobel Peace summit in Merida

Frederik Willem de Klerk, Lech Walesa and Rigoberta Menchu Túm among world leaders headed to Yucatan in September

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Nobel Peace Laureate Tevekkul Karman participates the 16th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, Colombia in 2017. Photo: Getty

Yucatan is preparing to receive 26 honored guests to its capital city for the 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

Among the Peace Prize laureates former presidents Frederik Willem de Klerk from South Africa; Juan Manuel Santos from Colombia, José Ramos Horta from East Timor; Lech Walesa from Poland and Lord David Trimble, first minister of Northern Ireland.

Shirin Ebadi, first female jurist in Iran; Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian peace activist who helped to end a civil war; and Tawakkol Karman, Yemeni human rights activist and founder of Women Journalists Without Chains, are also coming.

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 more than 85,000 child slaves; and Jody Williams, an American activist known for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines, are also expected to attend.

Aside from the 11 individual laureates, another 15 representatives of Nobel Peace Prize-awarded organizations are confirmed: The American Friends Service Committee; Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet; International Peace Bureau; Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; Albert Schweitzer Institute; International Campaign to Ban Landmines; Amnesty International; Institute of International Law; Kim Dae-Jung Presidential Library and Museum; International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; United Nations Children’s Fund; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; International Labour Organization; Martin Luther King Center; Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The number of laureates has increased by five since the summit was first announced in May.

The tagline and hashtag for the summit “Leave your mark for peace” and #LeaveYourMarkForPeace, #MiHuellaPorLaPaz. It takes place Sept. 19-22 at the International Convention Center.

The co-organizers of the event are the summit’s permanent secretariat and the Yucatan state department of tourism.

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates has been, for 20 years, a meeting point for social, business and political leaders, as well as for all members of civil society. Attendees discuss tools to end wars and promote disarmament and world reconciliation.

This year, the program will focus on both the Mexican legacy and the nation’s participation in the process of global peace-building.

Yucatan was chosen to host this internationally recognized event for its rich and vibrant of culture and deep historical roots. Merida is a great example of civil society working together with their governments to create a safe environment that allows for all to reach their potential, said the permanent secretariat.

The summit, founded by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, previously welcomed the Dalai Lama and presidents Shimon Peres and Jimmy Carter in cities that include Rome, Paris and Barcelona.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee each year awards the Nobel Peace Prize “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

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