23 January 2007

Kenya: Nobel Peace Laureates Vow to Fight for World Peace

Nairobi — Three Nobel Peace Prize laureates have promised to use their positions to fight for justice and peace in the world.

Prof Wangari Maathai, who was hosting two other female laureates, Prof Jody Williams from America and Dr Shirin Ebadi from Iran, said they had resolved to sue for world peace.

In a session organised as part of the ongoing World Social Forum in Nairobi, the laureates said they would make it their responsibility to tackle the problem of war since women were usually the most affected.

"Our intention is to fight for peace and justice since, as women, we can have more impact on these two issues," Ebadi said.

The laureates, under the auspices of the Nobel Women Initiative, said they would also use their positions to highlight the plight of women. They noted that women have been at the forefront of advocating for peace in their countries.

They were speaking at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani - the main venue of the World Social Forum meeting - during a session, which explored the possibility of women helping in creating another world that the WSF aspires for. The session was moderated by KTN news anchor Catherine Kasavuli.

Prof Maathai insisted she would plant over a billion trees in ten years. She said she was aiming at realising a major climatic change in that way. "The climate change has been so drastic and so fast that if nothing is done, this planet will be unable to sustain life," she said.

Instead of blaming governments and industries, we should individually seek to bring about change," she said.

She at the same time advocated for a strong civil society to keep governments on their toes. "Without a strong civil society, the people cannot hold our governments accountable," she said.

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