Nobel Winners in Warsaw
September 30, 2013
The Dalai Lama, ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Wałęsa, the former leader of Poland’s Solidarity trade union movement, are among big names expected to attend a summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners in Warsaw this month. More than a dozen international luminaries including former South African President F. W. de Klerk are expected in the Polish capital for three days of debates Oct. 21-23 on how to bring about a more peaceful world.
The annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates coincides with the 30th anniversary of Lech Wałęsa winning the peace prize. The Lech Wałęsa Institute is one of the organizers of the Warsaw event. Wałęsa, who led the Solidarity union in its heyday in the 1980s and went on to become Polish president from 1990 to 1995, said, “Here in Warsaw, together with other Nobel laureates, we want to find answers to the pressing issues of our times.”
Solidarity was the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc and played a key role in bringing down communism in Poland without bloodshed in 1989.
The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates was launched in Rome in 2000 by Gorbachev. The Warsaw event will be the first such summit to be held in Central and Eastern Europe. Its motto will be “Stand in Solidarity for Peace—Time to Act.”
Most of the meetings of the Nobel Peace Prize winners will be held at the Congress Hall at the Palace of Culture and Science, while the closing of the conference will take place at Warsaw’s National Opera/Wielki Theater building.
Everyone who registers beforehand will be able to sit in on the summit debates free of charge.