Monday, July 11, 2011

2012 Peace Prize Forum Speaker

This week, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum (the entity organizing my program) announced that the speaker for the 2012 Forum will be former South African President F.W. de Klerk.

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum website shared the following announcement:

You deserve some very big, very good news. It’s an honor to announce that former President of South Africa F. W. de Klerk has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Nobel Peace Prize Forum. We’ll send specific details later, but for now hold the dates of March 1-4, 2012. You will once again experience the inspiration that only a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate can deliver.

President de Klerk, who won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, was the last State President of apartheid-era South Africa, serving from 1989 to 1994. He is best known for engineering the end of apartheid, South Africa’s racial segregation policy, and for supporting the transformation of South Africa into a multi-racial democracy. In recent years, his passion for peace continues through his work addressing the complex challenges of the 21st century, such as building multicultural societies, rethinking immigration policy, and understanding global economic forces.

Around the world forces which favour peace are on the move. Amongst those, economic development is fundamentally important. Economic growth, generated by the free market, is transforming societies everywhere.

- F. W. de Klerk (from his Nobel Peace Prize address)

Even today, President de Klerk’s 1993 Nobel Address delivers goosebumps. We all know that the path to peace is often steep and costly. For South Africa, the price of peace assumed many forms, as the country moved from negotiation to reconciliation and beyond. President de Klerk himself paid a price – personally and politically – by ushering South Africa into a new era. With that in mind, I also would like to announce that the official theme for 2012 forum will be: “The Price of Peace.” We feel this theme fits well with the work of President de Klerk, as well as the many current and past struggles for peace taking place around the globe.

Also at the 2012 Forum, the other nine Peace Scholars and I will share our research from this summer. My topic: can reforming the United Nations Security Council better facilitate and sustain peace?

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