MERIDA, Mexico – The 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates ended on Saturday in the Mexican city of Merida with a call for ensuring human coexistence with mutual respect, and committing to prevent a further deterioration of our planet.
In the closing ceremony, the governor of the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatan, Mauricio Vila Dosal, praised the success of the meeting and the experiences the event would leave back for the state.
Vila Dosal told a 3,000-strong crowd at the International Convention Center that “all of us can make a difference and play our small part for world peace.”
“We can do it with small individual action, starting from our house, friends, district and city. Then they multiply. Sending a powerful message, not just to our brothers but to the entire world,” he said.
Representing the youth of the world, a group of youngsters vowed to defend all liberties including the freedom of expression.
They said this would help in ensuring peace and the rights of the minorities, as it was the media that supported social commitment, although adding that fake news was an obstacle in the path of progress.
They also committed to continue fighting for nuclear disarmament, and highlighted the role of education as the most powerful tool for establishing peace.
Reading out the final declaration of the summit, called the “Merida Declaration,” the 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate from Liberia, Leymah Gbowee, called for a new understanding of the concept of peace.
She said after the destruction caused by the two world wars and a series of ideological, religious and civil wars, the relative absence of war had been confused for peace.
She said while basic liberties were violated and there existed blatant “corruption, violence, inequality, and discrimination,” true peace could not be achieved.
Gbowee argued that true peace could not be separated from true justice, and there were serious causes of concern as long as threats to the common good existed.
She said that any threat to the well-being of anyone or the environment, affected all of us and urged everyone to leave a “footprint of peace” and contribute to making a more “just, peaceful and sustainable world.”
The closing ceremony was also attended by famous Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin, who was honored with a pigeon memento at the summit, symbolizing peace.
On the same night, Martin performed in front of a crowd of 25,000 people at the iconic Monumento a la Patria (monument to the Fatherland) in the Paseo de Montejo, the landmark street of Merida.