The 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates was held Feb. 2–5 in Bogota, Colombia. EARTH, a nominee last year, was represented at the event by José Zaglul, University founder and president from 1987 to 2016, and two students, The MasterCard Foundation Scholar Gerard Ndayishimiye (‘17, Rwanda) and Pamela Metadjer (‘19, Guatemala).
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient – Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia – is recognized for brokering the peace deal with the FARC, including the guerrilla group’s disarmament arrangement with the United Nations.
Our representatives participated in panels and workshops, discussing EARTH’s history, mission, vision and values. Ndayishimiye and Metadjer were able to add valuable insight as they come from countries that have suffered devastating armed conflicts in the past few decades.
“Our aim was to unite the past and the present, for the benefit of the future,” Metadjer said. “They wanted to bring past recipients and students together, to help shape us into instruments of peace and, who knows, possibly to earn a Nobel Prize at some point.”
Metadjer is thankful to have had the opportunity to establish connections with countless young people similarly invested in constructing a more peaceful world. She admits that meeting such an accomplished network of previous Nobel laureates was humbling and made her more appreciative of what EARTH works to achieve.
“I believe the University promotes peace and, in my opinion, education is the only way to reach understanding between cultures because it opens minds,” Metadjer said. “At EARTH, we develop that open-mindedness.”