September 18, 2007: Peace in the World Is Everybody’s Business
In 1976, Betty Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work against violence in the ‘Troubles,’ a regional conflict that involved political, ethnic, and religious dimensions in her native Northern Ireland. On September 18, 2007, Mrs. Williams presented a lecture, titled “Peace in the World Is Everybody’s Business” to the SUA community. She started the lecture by sharing her favorite expression: “Arms are for hugging not killing.” Her good-hearted nature generated a warm response from the audience. In addition, Mrs. Williams stressed “peace in the world is created when people individually make the decision that this is not the kind of world they want to live in, and they’re going to change it.”
In other words, peace in the world is everybody’s business, and she pointed out that apathy represents the greatest threat the world faces. In the lecture, she also shared her experience of visiting a hospital in Iraq during the Iraq war, where she saw horrible suffering of innocent civilians, especially women and children. Encounters such as these further advanced her advocacy for the rights of children. In action that brought together her ideas and experiences, Ms. Williams introduced her project to build the City of Peace in Italy that strives to secure children’s health and well-being.