Nobel laureates meet for peace

Editor’s summary

Peace and security — and the fight against terrorism — were the underlying themes of the Petra Nobel Laureates conference, hosted by Jordan’s King Abdullah II and attended by several Israelis, including Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, according to a report from the scene by UPI International Editor Claude Salhani.

Addressing the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Abdullah supported the thesis of a two-state solution, saying peace could only be achieved if there will be “justice for the Palestinians” and “security for the Israelis.”

One participant, Louise Blouin, founder of London-based LTB Holding Ltd, said she believed the more communication there is, the more progress there will be toward peace. “Better education is the way to avoid conflict,” she said. “We have to stay away from religion.”

“Religion over the centuries brought bloodshed,” Blouin said. “At the end of the day we have the same God.”

On the second day of the conference, a UPI reporter found participants were beginning to suspect that their own egos might be their biggest obstacle to peace.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton told conference participants that they were the ones who had the power to bring change for peace.

The conference was a challenge from King Abdullah to world leaders that they rise above their individual egos and contribute ideas and actions to resolving the problems of the world.

President Clinton offered one response through his “Clinton Global Initiative,” a non-partisan endeavor to bring together a “carefully selected group of the world’s best minds and most distinguished problem solvers” to tackle the Earth’s problems immediately.