The 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Mérida, Yucatan is just one month away with its opening ceremony to be launched on 19 September. It is the first time in the 20-year history of the World Summit that this prominent event is coming to Mexico. Recognizing the important role that Mexico plays in the global peace process, 27 Nobel Peace Laureates and representatives of both Prize awarded organizations and Peace Laureates Foundations have already confirmed their attendance.

The theme of the World Summit was revealed earlier this year as “Leave Your Mark For Peace.” Today the program is also highlighted to the media and public. Among a wide breadth of global challenges that will be address, special attention will be paid to the legacy of a great Mexican hero and Nobel Peace Laureate, Ambassador Alfonso Garcia Robles. Additionally, as the program will take place in Yucatan, home of the Maya civilization, the World Summit will also address the needs of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, especially the Mayan.

As the impact of the Summit is especially important for its participants and organizers, this year, promoting peace education among youth and children is of significant importance. The government of Yucatan has shown intentions to partner with the Permanent Secretariat of the Summit and lead that wave of integrating peace education in schools in the nearest future. This will bring tremendous hope for change by raising generations that love peace, tolerance, compassion and know how to practice them as good confident leaders.

At the twentieth anniversary since the first World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates was held in Rome the Permanent Secretariat is also upgrading the concept of the event to a new level to strengthen the impact of the event for the civil society. This year’s Summit is implementing a new methodology known as ADPE (Access/Discern/Plan/Execute). Every panel discussion will follow a path of Assessment of the situation, Discernment to find the best applicable solutions, Planning how and where to implement these solutions, and Execution right after the Summit through several channels and partnerships.

Ekaterina Zagladina, President of the Permanent Secretariat, notes: “For us the impact of the World Summit is equally important as the event itself. Therefore, every year we aim to develop more projects during the days of the Summit to be implemented in society as well as to inspire creating of new ones. After the last Summit in Bogota, we developed a special university curriculum to help cultivate a new generation of thoughtful and caring leaders who can understand, promote, and intelligently debate concepts related to ethics and values. The curriculum has already been implemented in several universities, and has reached thousands of young people. We are certain that the youth is the greatest hope that this world has, and we are proud to share with them the legacy and courageous stories of wisdom inspired by the Nobel Peace Laureates.”

Mauricio Vila Dosal, the Governor of the State Yucatan said: “We are very happy to receive the Summit, along with the recognition that this means for the efforts of all Yucatecans to build a peaceful and safe state. For four days all eyes of the world will turn to Mexico, and in particular to Yucatan. Thus, this Summit will be an unparalleled opportunity to show why Yucatan is the best place to visit, invest and live throughout Mexico. This Summit will become one of the most important events that Mexico has received in recent decades.”

The Secretary of Tourism of Yucatan, Michelle Fridman Hirsch added: “In Yucatan we are very proud to host the 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, such an important event that brings together great activists, students, opinion leaders and social leaders from around the world, in search of the same goal: World Peace building. It will certainly be a unique experience, not only for Yucatan, but for Mexico. We aim to be a great host of this Summit, proving that Yucatan is not only a great tourist destination and a host of events of any scale, but also a benchmark for peace and an example of good practices.”

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates traditionally includes a variety of different events and activities with a main focus on the following: main panel discussions open to civil society, youth education program for university students and young professionals, and side and cultural activities for all. This year’s main panel discussion will be focused on Mexican legacy and world peace related topics: peace education in families and domestic violence; empowerment of women towards equality; empowerment of men towards integrity and competence; empowering youth towards an environment of freedom; productivity and sustainability and economic growth and immigration; empowerment of indigenous cultures; demographic challenges; traditional and social media responsibility in peace keeping; ways of achieving a nuclear weapons-free world; the rule of law and international cooperation; and, the importance of peace education at schools.

The official educational program, known as Leading by Example, is an important part of the Summit’s program ever since it was launched in 2012 aiming to change youth vision and encourage them to make social-oriented projects, to educate new leaders raised in line with ethical and peace values.  The Secretariat of the Summit collaborates with leading universities and educational bodies worldwide to involve the students to participate in the Summit Youth Program. This year the Summit expects about 1,000 brilliant and highly motivated students from every part of the globe that are interested in peacemaking. The youth program of the Summit in Merida will present a new concept, known as Peace Labs, which aim to foster collaboration among youth on projects that will benefit their local communities. These topics include: Peace in the Family, Social Development, Sport for Peace, Indigenous cultures, Peace Education, Nuclear Disarmament, and Global Media Responsibility. Throughout the Summit days, participating youth will have the opportunity to attend more than 50 workshops led by local and global leaders, while also having the chance to receive a $10,000 competitive prize to carry out their vision for a peaceful world through the Turner Social Change Prize. The Permanent Secretariat is pleased to partner with Fundacion Haciendas del Mundo Maya A.C. and the Turner Family Foundation in support of the youth efforts. As every year and one month in advance, the Permanent Secretariat will send the digital version of the educational book “Being Nobel – Nobel Peace Laureates and the Courageous Pursuit of Peace” to all students coming to the Summit from all over the world.

Among the highlights of the supporting cultural activities of this year’s summit are the Peace Fair and the “Yucatan for peace” Concert with the participation of great artist and philanthropist Ricky Martín, famous not only for his music but also for his numerous initiatives for the good cause including a long-term collaboration with UNICEF to help children worldwide. The Yucatan for Peace concert will be held at the Motherland Monument on Saturday, September 21, to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

In addition, the Summit will also feature film screening activities, artistic performances by local talent, including the Yucalpeten Symphony Orchestra, the Folkloric Ballet, and multiple thematic forums will be held where prominent personalities in technology, music, sports and journalism will be present, such as Miguel Bosé, Martha Debayle, Diego Luna, Rafa Marquez, Paola Rojas, Yuriria Sierra, Karla Iberia Sánchez, Carlos Loret de Mola and chef Enrique Olvera, to name a few, who will have the opportunity to discuss with the presence of some of the Laureates, ways of using Peace in various social sectors.