World peace has come to Chicago.
The 12th annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates met downtown last week. The summit was organized around the idea of including youth in the quest for world peace. More than 3,000 students attended the summit where they were able to see the Dalai Lama and Sean Penn.
Speak up and speak out for freedom and rights was the theme of last weeks world summit.
One of the highlights was the presentation of the peace summit award. Sean Penn was honored for his humanitarian work in Haiti. Penn says one of the most touching stories from Haiti was about a police officer who lost his family in the earthquake.
“He turned to the two story house behind him and it was below his knee's level, all of it. He dove into it to grab his family, and all he got was his uniform from the top floor, and he put it on, and he went to work,” said Penn. “He guided the emergency traffic, and he was credited with saving hundreds of lives.”
After Penn received his award, the Dalai Lama, Mikhael Gorbachev, and other Nobel laureates shared their thoughts on world peace and non-violence.
Some of the laureates stayed after for a press conference to continue the discussion. The Dalai Lama says one of the problems today is our perception of the world around us.
“I think that this moment one problem we are facing is actually the gap reality new reality and our perception,” said the Dalai Lama. “We carry our way of thinking, the old sort of way. Old style. The new reality is something different.”
The conference ended with a statement written by all the laureates encouraging young people to do something to bring about peace.
“We offer the world's youth our support and our experience as they pursue a better future. We urge them to achieve peace through the use of peaceful and nonviolent means,” said professor Muhammad Yunus.
The Nobel Peace laureates made one thing clear, the future and world peace are in the hands of young people.