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Chicago To Host Nobel Peace Laureates

The annual summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners has been held in Paris, Berlin and Rome
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Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, announces Nobel Peace Prize Laureates summit. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, announces Nobel Peace Prize Laureates summit. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago continues to pile up major world summits that will be coming to the city next year.

Three weeks before President Barack Obama and other world leaders arrive for the NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago, the city also will host the 12th annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

The annual summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners has been held in Paris, Berlin and Rome, but this is would be the first time it’s held in North America.

“I send my congratulations to Mayor Emanuel and the city of Chicago for the honor of being selected to host this most extraordinary event,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a past Nobel winner, said via video.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The University of Illinois at Chicago will host the summit from April 23 to April 25, but as WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, the Chicago Public Schools will also play a major role.

Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, said when the summit meets for the first time in North America, the laureates will fan out to hold discussions at public high schools throughout Chicago.

“In a collaboration between the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Teachers Union and the RFK Center, as we develop 20 new chapters of the ‘Speak Truth’ curriculum, each one based on a particular Nobel Laureate,” Kennedy said.

She added that laureates will “speak to students about the capacity of one person to make a difference and the obligation to try.”

Kennedy’s brother, Chris, now a Chicagoan and fellow host committee member, couldn’t resist a playful jab, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

“She’s a New Yorker, and she doesn’t really want to really ‘fess up to the idea that we drubbed them in the competition,” he joked.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbechev and former Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni are co-chairing the summit.

The summit’s theme will be “Speak Up, Speak Out for Freedom and Rights.”

One of those laureates, former South African President F.W. de Klerk, recorded a videotaped message for the announcement of the summit.

“Laureates and distinguished guests will place a particular focus on human rights, individual activism and youth involvement,” de Klerk said.

There has been no official word yet when or if President Obama, a 2009 Nobel Laureate, would attend.

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