Mikhail Gorbachev, His Holiness Pope Francis and Frederik Willem de Klerk sent their greetings to the participants of the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, supported the Colombian Peace Accord and encouraged people of Colombia to move towards the sustainable peace and sustainable development. The 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates took place between 2-5 February 2017 in Bogota, Colombia and gathered 31 Nobel Prize Winners.
The founder of the Summit, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev issued a letter to the participants of the Summit and stated that he was “happy to greet all at this Nobel Laureates Summit, which brought together many participants in our movement that has for many years been serving the cause of peace.”
“We are all united by our commitment to spread the ideas of peace and the culture of peace among communities and citizens and, above all, young people, who will be living in an increasingly complicated and turbulent world. Indeed, the world today is facing many alarming problems, with new challenges emerging while the old ones – such as the interrelated problems of security, poverty and backwardness, and the environments – still remain unresolved, and the world is becoming increasingly unpredictable.”
“Even so, we must not despair or panic. Even in the most difficult situations, we must seek solutions and have faith that they can be found. The agreement to end civil war in Colombia is an excellent example of peace-making, honored by the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. It became a reality despite enormous difficulties and obstacles – but ultimately reason prevailed! I was therefore happy to congratulate the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, on the high recognition of his decisive contribution to this achievement.”
“Today, Nobel Laureates are engaged in many initiatives and projects. Each of us is focusing on areas where we expect to do the most good. But I would like to ask you, whatever your immediate concerns and wherever you go to meet people, to remind everyone of the urgency of the main task – to prevent wars, achieve nuclear disarmament and demilitarize international politics. This is crucial for the success of all our initiatives.”
The Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the Holy Father Francis, has sent a following message to the participants in the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates: “His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to learn that the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to be held in Bogotá from 2 to 5 February 2017, and he sends greetings to all present for the occasion. As the participants reflect on the many challenges to peace in the modern world, His Holiness encourages them in their efforts to promote understanding and dialogue among peoples. In a particular way, he trusts that the efforts in Colombia to build bridges of peace and reconciliation can inspire all communities to rise above animosity and division, for “when victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking”. With prayers that nonviolence will thus become the “hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms”, His Holiness cordially invokes upon all gathered for the Summit meeting the divine blessings of wisdom and strength.”
Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of the South Africa Frederik Willem De Klerk couldn’t attend the Summit due to the medical reasons but he sent his video message to support the Colombian Peace: “I should like to take this opportunity to wish the people of Colombia success with their continuing search for a just and lasting peace. I would also like to welcome President Santos to the community of Nobel Peace Laureates. I’m happy that his untiring efforts in the cause of peace have been deservingly recognized by the Nobel Peace Committee. I hope that the award will encourage him and the people of Colombia to continue state fastly on the road to peace. If ever there was the time to break the shadows of the past it’s now. The agreements reached are not perfect but create a new reality which is much better than what existed before. My wishes that all Colombians will focus on the positives and implement the agreements with courage and in the spirit of an innovation. I’m confident that 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates will make a substantial contribution to the search of peace in Colombia and the promotion of peace throughout the world.”