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BOGOTA, COLOMBIA, February 07, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, an event hold in February 2-5th 2017 in Bogota by the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, was devoted to the multiple aspects of peace and reconciliation, bringing home much of the peace process efforts in Colombia, hence it was entitled "Building Roads to Peace".
Colombia has been chosen for the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates as the platform to move this conversation forward, while discussing the many admirable processes already undertaken in the name of peace from which there is so much to learn. For the last 50 years, Colombia has suffered the longest internal armed conflict in the world and its magnitude was, and still is, greater than many major wars around the world. Because of this war, Colombia ranked second among countries throughout the world with the most internally displaced people, around 6 million. The reparations program created by the Colombian Government in 2011 has registered 7.7 million victims of forced displacement, murder, torture, sexual violence, forced disappearance and kidnapping, among other grave violations of human rights. This indicates that almost 14 percent of the population has suffered directly from the internal armed conflict and considers itself a victim.
Now, after over 50 years of continued violence, the peace agreement has been signed between the government and the FARC. It is a historic milestone, for it has been through dialogue and political will between both parties and the support of the people of Colombia that a comprehensive peace agreement has been reached. Hence, the Summit was also carried out within a spirit of exchange of ideas and experiences from the Colombian people and the international community.
The four day Summit in Bogota gathered some of the world's most inspiring and successful advocates of social, political, community, international impact, and personal peace together to address present challenges with inspiration and practical solutions. This Summit focused on discussions and examples of the many roads that need to be built in societies in order to attain sustainable peace.
The panels of the Summit addressed several key topics and issues equally relevant to both national and international delegates. Laureates, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, youth and members of civil society discussed the following issues: Policies and struggles advanced by Nobel Peace Laureates and Laureate organizations fostering peace and democracy, the strengthening of democratic institutions; the value of post conflict reconciliation and the sense of humanity; sustainable development and addressing the existential threat of environmental degradation; the key role of civil society and the private sector in building political and social stability; quality and inclusive education and youth leadership in fostering a culture of peace; national dialogue and successful cases of peace processes and inspirational lessons learned through dialogue and political will toward ending war, and reconciling societies.
Among attending participants were Nobel Peace Laureate of 2016, President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and former presidents: Oscar Arias, of Costa Rica; Lech Walesa, of Poland; and Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor Leste, Mohamed El Baradei, who received the Nobel Prize for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Lord David Trimble, Northern Ireland's former First Minister, co-author of the Good Friday Peace Agreement; Shirin Ebadi, first woman jurist in Iran, who continues to work in exile against inequality and injustice in her beloved country; Jody Williams, recognized for her work in favor of banning antipersonnel mines and cluster bombs; Yemen human rights activist Tawakkol Karman, founder of Women Journalists Without Chains, Rigoberta Menchu Turm, renowned Guatemalan activist who continues to campaign worldwide for indigenous rights; internationally acclaimed child rights' activist Kailash Sathyarti, pioneer in the fight against exploitation of children and illiteracy; and, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee who received the prize for leading an inter-religious female movement to helping to end a brutal 14-year civil war in Liberia, among others.
Ekaterina Zagladina, President of the Permanent Secretariat of the Summit, stated: "Every year this Summit brings together Nobel energy, great minds and inspiring stories, productive discussions and experience exchange to address issues that affect our common wellbeing. This year's Summit was attracting peacemakers from all over the globe to Colombia, named the Country of 2016 by The Economist for "being the dove of peace" for great strides toward peace and reconciliation. We hope that the spirit and energy of peacemaking helps the country permanently overcome the disastrous results of war. We also believe that this Summit brings enormous benefits to all participants who were welcome to share examples of courage and non-violence that have served as best practices for other nations when building democratic paths toward social justice and sustainable peace. Indeed, this was the first time the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates was held in Latin America."
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