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Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 16:42:58 -0500 (CDT)
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Subject: [NYTr] Nobel Laureates: Poverty Breeds Terrorism
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Nobel Laureates: Poverty Breeds Terrorism

Prensa Latina (Havana), 25 September 2006

Washington, Sep 25 (Prensa Latina) Ten Nobel Peace Prizewinners, of the only 93 so awarded since 1901, warn that poverty breeds terrorism and demand that the billions spent on weapons of mass destruction be used instead to feed the hungry people of the world.

Gathered at PeaceJam, held in Denver last weekend, the ten Nobel Peace Laureates, together with three thousand youth from around the world, participated in the largest event of its kind in North America.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa declared that if hunger is eliminated, the world will have stopped terrorism. If we want to live in peace, we have to realize we are all members of the same family, said the African Nobel Peace Laureate.

John Dear, a Jesuit priest, peace activist and author of You Will Be My Witnesses (Orbis) and Living Peace (Doubleday) reported on the meeting. Mairead Maguire, Nobel laureate from Belfast, said war simply doesnt work.

Nuclear weapons dont work. I dont believe in a just war. The war on Iraq is totally immoral, totally illegal, and totally unnecessary. So we need to say no to war, and no to nuclear weapons. We need to learn the way of nonviolence.

Said Shrini Ebadi, a judge from Iran proclaimed: Every nation with nuclear weapons should dismantle them immediately. I wish, for example, that after 9/11 the US had built thousands of schools in Afghanistan in honor of each victim.

President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica pointed out that the US spends over half a trillion a year on militarism, but only a tiny fraction on food, medicine and education for the worlds poor. Real security means first of all security against hunger, disease, and poverty.

And Rigoberta Menchu, the Guatemalan indigenous leader, cut us to the core: If there were no wars in the world, the US economy would not prosper. Therefore, there must not be any more prosperity in the United States, if the worlds poor are to prosper.

When I was tortured by the Argentine Junta, Adolfo Perez Esquivel told Fr. Dear, I saw on the ceiling of my cell, written in blood, the words, God does not kill. We need to learn that lesson, and resist the forces of death and destruction, and struggle for life and dignity for all. If we focus on this task, we can build peace.

Archbishop Tutu proposed that countries export generosity instead of bombs and exhorted participants to distance themselves from the cynicism of the old that made a mess of the world. The world is hurting. Go and heal it, he said.