From September 19 to 22, 2019, the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (Nobel Peace Summit) was held in Mérida, Mexico. Peace Boat attended the summit as one of the recipients of 2019 Billion Acts Hero Awards, in the “Best University Act” category. During the summit, Peace Boat participated in the Billion Acts Hero Awards Ceremony, conducted workshops for participating youth, and took part in the Global Climate Strike.
The Nobel Peace Summit is internationally recognised as the most important annual event in the field of peacemaking. Since 1999, it has attracted Nobel Peace Laureates, high-profile leaders, organisations, students, and professors from around the globe. The slogan for this year’s 17th Nobel Peace Summit was “Leave your mark for Peace.” Ten Nobel Peace Laureates and eleven Nobel Peace Laureate organisations attended the summit, including Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Jody Williams, Tawakkol Karman and Kailash Satyarthi. Over 1,000 youth from across the world participated in the Youth Program organised as a part of the summit. Altogether, more than 3,000 people joined this gathering to call for peace.
During the summit, Nobel Peace Laureates and representatives from Nobel Peace Laureate Organisations engaged in panel discussions to highlight key global issues, such as the role of global and social media, indigenous peoples’ rights, migration and refugees, nuclear disarmament, and the rule of law. In addition, many interactive workshops were led by the Nobel Peace Laureates to inspire and encourage young people to “leave their marks for peace” by taking action.
Peace Boat participated in this summit as a recipient organisation of the Billion Acts Hero Award, offered annually by the Peacejam Foundation, an international organisation whose mission is to create young leaders committed to positive change. Every year, the foundation announces Billion Acts Hero Awards, honouring global citizens’ movements designed to tackle the most important challenges facing our planet today, and to actively create a more sustainable and peaceful world. Peace Boat was chosen from among 10 million acts of peace as one of the two organisations to receive the award in the Best University Act category. The organisers recognised Peace Boat’s long-term dedication to peace and nuclear disarmament education, especially through projects such as Global University and the Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World: Peace Boat Hibakusha Project.
Peace Boat staff Hatakeyama Sumiko attended the Billion Acts Hero Awards Ceremony on September 20. Six Nobel Peace Laureates were present, and the Best University Act was awarded by Shirin Ebadi, the lawyer and human rights activist who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
During the Summit, Peace Boat took part in two workshops to present its activities to participating youth. In the workshops, Sumiko introduced our peace education programmes and various advocacy work. The young activists who participated in the workshops were attentive and active, and the discussion was very productive in terms of thinking about how different organisations can work together to create a bigger momentum for peace and disarmament.
In the morning of September 20, Peace Boat also took part in the Global Climate Strike, joined by many peace activists both local and international. The enthusiasm of the attendees made clear the importance to keep taking actions to achieve the kind of future we want in our communities, countries and regions.
Empowered by this award and this opportunity, Peace Boat will continue to work on peace and disarmament education in partnership with various peace organisations and activists around the world.