The Rome Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

On five different occasions, has been a partner in the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome.

Actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle were selected by the World Summit of Nobel Laureates to receive the 2007 Summit Peace Award, for “their efforts in favor of pacifying the tormented region of Darfur and for helping save lives.” hosted a VIP dinner for the recipients the evening before the award presentation.

Speaking after receiving the award, Clooney said that while he was deeply honored, he felt that he was coming before the Laureates “a failure.”

“We do concerts, rallies, where thousands of people show up and say how terrible it is,” Clooney told a news conference. “But the truth is not one single thing has changed. Now it’s time to turn that corner.”

Through their Not On Our Watch Foundation, Clooney and Cheadle have raised money and attention to stop a conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives (up to 400,000 by some counts) and uprooted 2.5 million people since 2003.

At a press conference following the award, they asked world leaders to provide helicopters for a joint U.N.-African union peacekeeping force scheduled to take over security in the Sudanese region in December. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed for the aircraft, which he said are critical to protect both military personnel and civilians.

“If we get 24 helicopters in there we can protect 4 million people,” Clooney said. “If they are lucky enough to escape rape, torture, murder … and survive malaria and AIDS and starvation, (they) should at least have the chance to live.”

The Dalai Lama, one of the Nobel Laureates present, praised Clooney and Cheadle for their work, stressing the importance of solving the problems of the developing world. The act of compassion and taking care of others, he said, is actually taking care of yourself. So we can be, as he stated, “wise selfish or foolish selfish.”


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