A change of location for the last day of the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates: no longer the auditorium at Music Park, but Julio Cesar Sala del Campidoglio, seat of the Communal Council of Rome.
It began with a reading of messages from Gorbachev, who could not participate and is concerned about conflicts and current threats, and Ban Ki Moon, inter alia expressing his joy for the Nobel Prize assigned to the young Malala. Then they talked about Africa and conflicts, followed by a moment of silence to remember the victims of Ebola.
Many of the issues we are facing today, from denouncing the huge military expenditure and the dramatic consequences of climate change to the important role of women, even love and compassion as an alternative to the arrogance of the Western single model, returning to what was already said in previous days. It is worth noting some of the most significant issues.
The Dalai Lama reminded that a few people, even if they are Nobel Prizes Laureates, alone cannot change the destiny of the world and called upon each and every one about the moral responsibility to make their contribution to the construction of a happy world, with compassion and fairness.
Leymah Gbowee reacted angrily to the tendency to look to Africa as “sick” and in need of a cure and as a uniform continent underlined the wealth not only in commodities, but also and above all in living peoples, cultural diversity and experiences. Reminded all that only the people can save themselves through advances in the field of education, health and the fight against poverty.
Shirin Ebadi summed up the fight against the ignorance and injustice that fuel terrorism, with the invitation to “throw books, not bombs,” recalling that Isis does not represent Islam and that one can be a Muslim respecting human rights. The requirement not to help dictators also demands exposing the millions deposited in European banks and never returned to the people to rebuild their war- and repression – torn countries.
Rajendra Kumar called to mind that Africa is not poor, but impoverished, not asking charity but justice and quoted Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso deposed by a coup, according to whom “for radical change the courage to invent the future is needed.” And Don Giulio Albanese, moderator of the panel, added a quote from Pliny the Elder: “There is always something new coming from Africa.”
The strongest image of the allocating of the 2014 Peace Award to director Bernardo Bertolucci who arrived in a wheelchair was the gentleness with which the Dalai Lama gave him the microphone and protected him with a white scarf around his neck. Bertolucci remembered in a moving way his contacts with the Tibetan spiritual guide during the preparation of the film “Little Buddha” and stated that there is “a small Buddha inside each of us.”
One step towards the future came with the announcement that the next Summit will be held in Atlanta, with great joy for his black Mayor, who thanked for the election and paid tribute to Martin Luther King and Mandela.
During the final press conference the theme was again women and the importance of their contributing role to build a peaceful world. The last words were spoken by Jody Williams: the commitment to continue fighting for the release of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, as was done at its time with Aung San Suu Kyi and quoted – Finally! – The recent conference in Vienna on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons as an essential step towards disarmament.