QU delegation attends nuclear non-proliferation conference

QU group in Japan
Nov. 15, 2010 - The institute sent two students and two alumni to an international gathering of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to promote nuclear non-proliferation. Matthew Andrew '10, Farrell Denby '09, Giana Gleeson '11 and Louis Venturelli '11 departed Nov. 7 for the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Hiroshima, Japan. The conference, organized by the International Gorbachev Foundation and the City of Rome, ran from Nov. 12-14, 2010.

Hiroshima was chosen because 65 years ago it became the first site attacked with a nuclear weapon. Each year, the Nobel Laureates select a city based on a significant anniversary or event.

David Ives, executive director of institute, represented 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Albert Schweitzer. "Schweitzer is known for many things, but one of the things he was best known for was his opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear testing," Ives said. "In his later years of life, it was his most important issue. He did a lot of work to confront it."

Ives spoke on the ethical basis of nuclear weapons and war."I hope to take another step toward eliminating nuclear weapons," he said. "It would be one of my most cherished dreams to be even a small part of that. And I want our students and alumni to share this experience."

Erin Peck '06, director of programs with the Albert Schweitzer Institute, said this conference series underscores the idea that anyone can make a difference. "It's incredible how closely we are able to interact with the Nobel Laureates," she said. "Working so closely with these important people brings them to a very human level, but it is important to remember that each person won the peace prize because they were average people who did above average things. It's very inspiring. Everyone has the potential to make as big of a difference as these Nobel Laureates."