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Nobel Peace Laureates To Discuss Hopes For A World With No Nukes

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Nobel Peace Laureates

The first World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates ever held in the United States is in progress in Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — On the final day of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago, panelists will be talking with high schools students about hopes for a world with no nuclear weapons.

Four Nobel Peace Prize laureates, or representatives of groups that have won the prize, will participate in the panel discussion at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave. The participants are Iranian dissident Dr. Shirin Ebadi, who won the prize in 2003; Ingeborg Breines of the International Peace Bureau, which won the prize in 1910; Dr. Ira Helfand of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the prize in 1985; and Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala of PUGWASH Conferences, which won in 1995.

CBS National Security Correspondent David Martin will moderate the discussion. On the CBS 2 Morning News Wednesday, he said engaging young people on the issue is crucial.

“My generation is not going to eliminate nuclear weapons. Their generation, if it’s going to be done, is going to have to do it, because that’s how long and difficult a job it is,” Martin said. “So what I hope happens here is that we can use the star power of these Nobel Peace Prize winners to interest and motivate these young people into starting work on this long project of eliminating nuclear weapons.”

Martin said it is naïve to believe that nuclear armament can continue indefinitely with no consequences.

“It almost has to happen, because the proposition that we can forever have nuclear weapons and one is never going to go off, either accidentally or on purpose, is just not credible,” Martin said.

At 1 p.m. Wednesday, actor Sean Penn will host the Peace Summit Award ceremony. At 1:30 p.m., the final session, “World Peace and Nonviolence: Never Give Up,” will feature His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, and professors Jody Williams and Muhammad Yunus.

The summit is a who’s who of international game-changers. Gorbachev and former Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni are chairing the summit, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is serving as an honorary chairman.

Gorbachev spoke with CBS 2’s Kris Gutierrez Tuesday on why he supports President Barack Obama.

“I think he is the person for this time,” Gorbachev said through an interpreter. “I think he now has quite a lot of experience — I think he’s a man of culture.”

Also Tuesday, world leaders shared private moments about their lives on the world stage. Former Polish President Lech Wałęsa talked about meeting the late Polish Pope John Paul II.

“The Holy Father actually awoke all the values in us, and he said to us, ‘Be not afraid to transform the face of the world,’” Wałęsa said through an interpreter.

Wałęsa went on to say how even the Communists in power at the time learned to cross themselves.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former South African President F.W. de Klerk are also among the attendees.

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