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November 9, 2010

Baggio wins special award from peace laureates


Italian soccer star Roberto Baggio is this year's winner of a special award bestowed annually by world's Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

Baggio, 43, the FIFA player of the year in 1993, was chosen Tuesday for the Peace Summit Award 2010 for his longtime efforts in charities, including pressing for the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's detained pro-democracy leader and Peace laureate, the office of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates said Tuesday.

Baggio is more known for his soccer glory. But he has also helped fund hospitals, including raising money to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake and fighting bird flu, as well as supporting the work of the United Nations.

This year's meeting of laureates, set to start Friday, is in the southwestern Japanese city of Hiroshima, where the U.S. atomic bomb killed 140,000 people in 1945, ending World War II.

Previous such summits were held in Europe.

This year, the laureates will also be giving a special award to the representatives of the bomb victims, "to honor all those who have witnessed and endured the tragic consequences of nuclear bombardments and war, warning with their unbearable suffering present and future generations," the group said in a statement.

Past winners of the Peace Summit Award include British musician Peter Gabriel, American actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle, and Italian comedian and director Roberto Benigni.

Hopes for nuclear nonproliferation and pacifism are strong in Hiroshima. And the peace meeting this year will focus on nuclear disarmament, organizers say.

Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama, Lech Walesa of Poland, former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk and East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta are scheduled to attend.

November 14, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi has been released with no conditions on her freedom

Freed democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi addressed her supporters and reporters Sunday in Myanmar.

"I am for national reconciliation, I am for dialogue and ... whatever authority I have, I would like to use toward that end. And I hope the people will support me," she said, speaking to reporters at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party.

The country's ruling military junta freed Suu Kyi from house arrest Saturday to a throng of joyous supporters who rushed toward her house once the gates were opened.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1991, had spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest for her dogged opposition to authoritarian rule in the nation formerly known as Burma.

"They have treated me well on a personal basis. But they have not acted in accordance with the rule [of law]. And that I shall always fight against," she said Sunday.

"I don't think any country can survive as a prosperous and dignified nation unless there is rule of law," she said. "The people cannot have security unless there is rule of law. And I believe my treatment and that of all prisoners is not within the norms of justice, but that does not mean that I have been ill-treated personally."

Recently, Suu Kyi had little outside human contact except for two maids and visits from her doctor. Sometimes, she spoke to supporters over the wall of her compound.

Roberto Baggio " Very happy for Aung San Suu Kyi"

Nobel laureates attending a peace summit in Hiroshima on Saturday celebrated with toasts the news of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's release.

The freed dissident was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her "non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights" and past winners greeted news of her release at an annual gathering.

"It's wonderful," said former South African president F.W. de Klerk, who won the Peace Prize in 1993 with Nelson Mandela for efforts to end apartheid in the country. "We would like to have her next year with us."

The news reached Hiroshima as the city hosts the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, with six past Nobel Peace laureates including exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Former Italian football player Roberto Baggio, who has been picked for this year's World Peace Award bestowed by Nobel Peace Prize laureates, also joined the celebration.

"Just very happy, absolutely," he said as he got off a cruise ship on a tour given on an invitation of Hiroshima governor.

De Klerk and Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace recipient and a lawyer promoting human rights in Iran, also heard the news and toasted on the ship.

"I will go to Burma (Myanmar), or rather I hope to be able to go because I tried in the past without results," Baggio said.

He was singled out for his long-time charity work, particularly in Myanmar in trying to win freedom for Suu Kyi and also his fund-raising for victims of the Haiti earthquake, according to the office of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

Baggio, a convert to Buddhism, is to receive his accolade here on Sunday.

Suu Kyi walked free after seven years as a prisoner in her own home, calling on a sea of jubilant supporters to unite in the face of repression.

Waving and smiling, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner appeared outside the crumbling lakeside mansion where she had been locked up by the military rulers, to huge cheers and clapping from the waiting crowds.

The 2010 peace summit calls for a global nuclear disarmament in Hiroshima, the city obliterated by a US atomic bomb attack in 1945.

Those who could not attend the summit include this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who is imprisoned in China.

US President Barack Obama, who was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize partly for his commitment to nuclear disarmament, missed the meeting due to a scheduling conflict with the Group of 20 meeting in Seoul and an APEC meeting in Japan.

Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, who received the prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War, cancelled for health reasons.

Source: AFP

November 18, 2010

Roberto Baggio at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

Roberto Baggio receives the 2010 Peace Award

Roberto speaks at the World Summit on Nobel Peace Laureates

Roberto with some survivors of the Hiroshima's tragedy

Others photos of the Summit:

Photo 1

Photo 2

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About November 2010

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