When twenty Nobel Peace Laureates meet in Chicago for their twelfth World Summit, they will award Sean Penn with the annual Peace Summit Award in recognition of his work as founder and CEO of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which aids the victims of the 2010 earthquake, as well as for his ongoing advocacy for peace and human rights. The permanent Secretariat of the World Summit and the 2012 Chicago Host Committee will also announce this year's eleven Nobel Prize-winners and nine Laureate organizations set to attend the three-day April summit, which is taking place in North America for the first time.
Responding to this news, Penn said:
"I'm thrilled to receive this tribute and to represent it to the youth of Haiti, the strong women of Haiti, and of the world. Tomorrow is a new day where cynicism is for cowards, and men of virtue and agency will be true heroes to their sons. Many in my generation know cowardice well, but not the youth, and not the women. And NEVER the Haitians. This is an extraordinary honor in an extraordinary moment on Earth. I'm very grateful."
The theme of this year's Summit is "Speak Up, Speak Out for Freedom and Rights,” and its focus is on youth involvement in peace and human rights. The Summit will include several panels to be kicked off with a session including five former heads of state, presidents Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Frederik Willem de Klerk, Óscar Arias and Jimmy Carter.
The Nobel Peace Laureate individuals and organizations are listed below, along with additional information:
Nobel Peace Laureate individuals currently confirmed to attend the 12th World Summit:
· Mrs. Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Northern Ireland (1976)
· President Lech Wałęsa, Poland (1983)
· President Óscar Arias, Costa Rica (1987)
· His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet (1989)
· President Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia (1990)
· President Frederik Willem de Klerk, South Africa (1993)
· Professor Jody Williams, United States (1997)
· President Jimmy Carter, United States (2002)
· Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Iran (2003)
· Professor Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh (2006)
· Ms. Tawakkol Karman, Yemen (2011)
Nobel Peace Laureate Organizations currently confirmed to attend the 12th World Summit:
· International Peace Bureau (1910)
· American Friends Service Committee (1947)
· International Committee of the Red Cross (1963)
· Amnesty International (1977)
· International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (1985)
· PUGWASH Conferences (1995)
· International Campaign to Ban Landmines (1997)
· United Nations/Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2001)
· Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007)
The World Summit is chaired by the former Soviet President and Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev and co-chaired by former Mayor of Rome, Hon. Walter Veltroni. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will serve as the Summit’s Honorary Co-Chair. The Chicago Host Committee is co-chaired by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn; Chris Kennedy, past president of Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.; Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights; Terry Mazany, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust; and Michael Sacks, CEO of Grosvenor Capital Management and vice chairman of World Business Chicago.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Chicagoans–and young people in particular–to start a dialogue about empowerment and inspire one another to stand up for human rights at home, in the classroom, or on the world stage,” said Kerry Kennedy. “Hundreds of students from Chicago public schools have spent part of this year learning from the Speak Truth to Power curriculum and now, thanks to the 2012 Summit, they'll have the opportunity to hear the stories of these twenty remarkable human rights defenders firsthand."