Due to circumstances beyond our control – brought about by the global health crisis of Covid-19 – the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (WSNPL) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government regretfully announce the cancellation of the 18th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. The Summit was to be hosted in Seoul, the capital city of the Republic of Korea, in October 2020.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government actively supports the goals and values of the Permanent Secretariat and signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding in December 2019, to host the 18th Summit in Seoul. The WSNPL was to be held with the hope of healing the wounds of the Korean War – as 2020 marks the 70th year after the outbreak of the Korean War – and a shared wish for unconditional peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Permanent Secretariat have worked together tirelessly over the past year, and have made the utmost efforts to host and organize a successful Summit.

However, the world unexpectedly came under great turmoil due to the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to linger.

Faced with the many restrictions posed by the pandemic, as well as the need to guarantee the health and safety of all the participants and personnel – both during the preparation phases and during the Summit – the Permanent Secretariat and the Seoul Metropolitan Government invested tremendous effort in exploring various alternative ways to proceed with the event.

However, the resurgence of Covid-19 in Korea has now led to an unprecedented level of quarantine measures. Among others, the requirements for strengthened social-distancing rules make it impossible for the co-organizers to properly prepare and host an event of the Summit’s size and scope – in any format.

The pandemic has caused the cancellation or postponement of almost all major international events, including the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, and, regrettably, we believe that now is the time to make a tough decision for the health and wellbeing of everyone, and follow suit.

In this regard, the Permanent Secretariat and the Seoul Metropolitan Government accept the bitter reality that our joint efforts to host the 18th WSNPL have now reached this decision.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government “will continue to open the windows of opportunity to work with the Permanent Secretariat and the Nobel Peace Laureates, and to closely cooperate with the Permanent Secretariat of the WSNPL. Once favorable international conditions have been developed…” they “will humbly join the Permanent Secretariat and Nobel Peace Laureates in their honorable mission toward world peace.”

The Permanent Secretariat will continue to support efforts to bring unconditional peace to the Korean Peninsula and looks forward to future cooperation with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the people of Korea.

Issued by:
The Seoul Metropolitan Government
The Permanent Secretariat of the WSNPL
19 September 2020