The 11th Edition of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates was held in Hiroshima on November 12th-14th, 2010.

The international conference was historic and groundbreaking in that it marked the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of two Japanese cities. In light of recent meetings between the United States and the Russian Federation to reduce each nation’s nuclear weapons arsenals and of the results of the recent U.N. Conference of New York, the Summit confronted the issue of nuclear disarmament and propose concrete measures to address this most pressing issue.

Chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev and Walter Veltroni, former Mayor of Rome, the event attracted Nobel Peace Laureates such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Fredrik Willem De Klerk, Lech Walesa, José Ramos- Horta, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Mohamed ElBaradei, Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams. Senior representatives of such international organizations as the United Nations (UN), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Children’s Found (UNICEF), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Pugwash Conferences (PUGWASH), International Peace Bureau (IPB), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International (AI) and many others also attended.

The President of the United States and 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate, Barack Obama, who has already expressed his wish to visit Hiroshima during his mandate, was formally invited. In their letter of invitation, the Nobel Peace Laureates called upon President Obama to reiterate points made during his speech of April 2009 in Prague on the necessity of dismantling the remaining nuclear arsenals.

During the final day of the Summit, the City of Hiroshima had the grass area in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Peace Memorial Park open to the public for the Closing Ceremony. This area becomes available to the public, in principle, only when the city holds the Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 6. One of the few exceptional occasions in the past was when Pope John Paul II first came to Hiroshima on February 25, 1981.

Also this year, the Nobel Peace Laureates awarded the 2010 Peace Summit Award to retired Italian footballer Roberto Baggio, who has dedicated his life to the protection and enforcement of human rights. Previous recipients include Annie Lennox, Bono, George Clooney and Don Cheadle, Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof and Yusuf.

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