H.H. the Dalai Lama Participates in 2nd Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates

June 21st 2006

Petra, Jordan, 22 June 2006 (ICT) - His Holiness the Dalai Lama is among the more than two dozen Nobel Laureates participating in the Conference of Nobel Laureates, Petra II: A World in Danger in the Jordanian town of Petra, which began on June 21, 2006.

In his inaugural address, Jordan's King Abdullah underscored the need to benefit from the leadership and knowledge of Nobel Prize winners in boosting long-term development and called for giving special focus on settling conflicts, stressing that peace largely relies on the trust upon which it is built, according to a UPI report from Petra.

'The Nobel Prize recognizes that the sources of human progress are to be found in every corner of the globe,' said King Abdullah. 'The intellect, knowledge and talent of the world's Nobel Laureates have brought better lives to millions of people in our world, and this week, we have a unique opportunity to have them apply their highly innovative minds to some of the most pressing contemporary global problems.'

The Associated Press quoted the King as telling the gathering, 'Peace among nations depends on the trust that is built when people recognize common values and goals.'

Following the opening session, delegates broke into four groups for detailed discussions behind closed doors. Besides the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, their agenda included challenges to global security and development, particularly in the fields of nuclear non-proliferation, education, health and poverty and economic empowerment, according to AP.

The organizers hope that the conference - whose theme is 'A World in Danger' - will culminate in 'concrete practical initiatives that will involve peace and cooperation in the region,' said Bassem Awadallah, an aide to King Abdullah, AP reported.

The conferees have been invited to Jordan by the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. During the two-day conference, they are expected to discuss challenges to global security and development, particularly in the fields of nuclear non-proliferation, education, health and poverty and economic empowerment. The participants will also give special attention to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and other regional issues.

'Hatred, an old and new infectious disease, is still ravaging the human heart. Indifference imperils our future,' said Professor Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who will host Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas in separate conversations during the conference. 'While there may be a variety of responses to injustice and tragedy, indifference cannot be one of them.'

The Dalai Lama addressed the conference on the first day.

According to an official press statement, 'Nobel Laureates from the six fields in which the Nobel Prize is awarded each year - peace, economics, literature, physics, chemistry, and physiology and medicine - are expected to attend. They are: Peter Agre, Aaron Ciechanover, Johann Deisenhofer, Alan J. Heeger, Walter Kohn, Avram Hershko, Rudolph A. Marcus, Kurt W
 

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