By Raymond Rolak
DETROIT-- The University of Illinois at Chicago hosted the World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and former Polish President Lech Walesa was on the panel discussion, “New Challenges for Peace.” Also on the dais with him were three other former presidents of stature, Mikail Gorbachev, Frederik Willem de Klerk and Jimmy Carter.
Walesa also spoke on the panel addressing the topic, “One Person Can Make A Difference.”
The Permanent Secretariat of “The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates” is based in Rome and Moscow. They schedule an annual peace conference and have sponsorship conections from the International Gorbachev Foundation and the City of Rome. The group is a not-for-profit association without any mission statement of political aims.
As well as organizing the tasks of the Summit, the Secretariat monitors the activities of Nobel Peace Laureates, while promoting the adoption of the “Charter for a world without violence” and supporting the work of the Nobel Laureates.
Hollywood actor and social activist Sean Penn received the 2012 Summit Award for his humanitarian work in Haiti.
Walesa, 68, founded Solidarity in Poland in 1980 and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. He served as President of Poland between 1990 and 1995.
Part of the closing statement of the combined Laureates said, “We are concerned that old threats to peace are persisting and new ones emerging. We therefore urge young people to organize for peace and learn to prevent and resolve conflicts peacefully. At a time when militarism continues to corrupt the minds of politicians and poison international relations, when a new arms race is unfolding, this must be a key priority. As Nobel Laureate Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘“those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”’
After his appearances in Chicago, Walesa visited Detroit under sponsorship of the Chrysler Corporation and Jeep. He visited Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly and Jeep Plant and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in addressing about 100 employees and guests, “It is not often in life that you get to spend time with someone who has played a vital role in changing the course of history. Lech Walesa is one of those rare leaders who represent a true turning point in our collective life, for what he has done and for the way he has inspired the world.” UAW Vice- President General Holiefield also attended.
In January 2012, Chrysler Group announced that it would add a third crew or 1,100 jobs in the first quarter of 2013. Walesa visited Detroit two years ago along with the president of the current Polish trade union Solidarity-Fiat, Wanola Strozyk. They were in Detroit to open the Solidarity exhibit at the Wayne State University Walter Reuther Labor Library.
The final declaration of the 2012 World Nobel Peace Laureates: