Monday, April 16, 2012

Nobels in Chicago: Mairead Maguire Declines to Play Along

Several weeks ago I asked, "What message do you think the Nobel Peace Prize laureates should bring to Chicago?".


Mairead Maguire, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize

I have just learned that Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner from Ireland, has declined the invitation to come to Chicago, saying "I cannot ... in good conscience, be part of a Partnership with the US State Government (NATO)." She wrote:
Dear Friends,

I write to let you know that I have decided not to attend the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates on 23rd-25th April, 2012, in Chicago, USA.

On 10th April, Sec. of State H. Clinton appeared on video in US State Department Web announcing plans for the forthcoming Nobel Peace Laureates Summit and said ‘The US Department of State is proud to be an active partner in this event’.

Sec. Clinton gave details of how the US State Dept. is working with US embassies around the world, to bring twenty students and 4 teachers from 4 countries to Chicago and explained that video conferences and portals for live streaming of events, will be managed by US State department.

I have now decided, with some sadness, not to be associated in this Partnership as I do not agree with many of the Policies of the US State Department. Indeed I have, as a Nobel Peace Laureate, (and in the spirit of Alfred Nobel) often called for disbandment of NATO, end of militarism and war, and for Disarmament and demilitarization. I cannot therefore, in good conscience, be part of a Partnership with the US State Government (NATO). I also believe that my participation in such a partnership would compromise my position and put in jeopardy my work in the Middle East and other countries.

I am very disappointed that what is a great opportunity for young people, the Nobel Laureates and organizations to listen, learn, and exchange friendships and experiences, has been, I believe, seriously compromised in such a Partnership.

However, I hope it will be an enjoyable and educational summit particularly for all the young people, and I am deeply saddened not to be with you all.

Peace,

Mairead Maguire

Peace People, Northern Ireland

http://www.peacepeople.com

13.4.2012
How will the other invitees respond to the attempt by the United States government and the City of Chicago to use them to legitimize the NATO summit?


Related posts

A number of Nobel Peace Prize laureates and laureate organizations have agreed to come to Chicago April 23-25 for the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Some people believe that the Nobel Peace Prize laureates should decline the invitation to come to Chicago, to prevent the leaders of the City of Chicago from using them to legitimize the NATO summit.

(See A Nobel Laureate Message for Chicago? )