World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 9
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, I would bring to your attention a remarkable meeting that was held last weekend in Rome and which I was privileged to attend. It was the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Some one-half dozen Nobel Laureates and representatives of many other organizations, which over the years have won the Nobel Peace Prize, were in attendance.

The meeting was under the direction of President Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and who now heads the Gorbachev Foundation. Mr. Gorbachev excoriated governments for pleading that they do not have enough money to cure poverty, while at the same time spending enormous sums on arms. He especially criticized the development of nuclear weapons. This will go on, he said, until and unless the world community is energized to stop it. Certainly, he said, new weapons are not needed to fight terrorism.

The statement that was issued at the end of the weekend conference stated that, among other things, nuclear weapons are immoral and every use of them is illegal. The statement concluded that a culture of peace must overcome today's culture of war. There were strong recommendations to resolve the present Iraq- U.S. crisis by resorting to United Nations Security Council resolutions and not unilateral action. Security Council resolutions must be fully adhered to, the statement said, and the rights of the Iraqi people respected. The struggle against terrorism must not become a pretext for unjust constraints on human rights.

Honourable senators, the full report of this remarkable, and one might even say astounding, meeting of world leaders can be found on my Web site at