The Dalai Lama, former President Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev are among the Nobel Peace Prize winners expected to attend a summit that begins on Monday in Chicago, according to the Associated Press.
The 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates is the first one to be hosted in North America and comes just weeks ahead of the NATO summit, which Chicago will also host in May.
Around 11 laureates are expected to visit and the focus of the summit will be "Speak Up, Speak Out for Freedom and Rights," according to the AP.
According to The Chicago Tribune, the gathering of the world's foremost human rights advocates will address issues such as bridging the cultural gap between youths in different countries, and nonviolence and peace.
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The laureates will visit approximately 17 public schools and meet with students who have been studying the work of the Nobel Peace Prize winners.
According to Chicago's NBC News affiliate, the summit will kick off with speeches from Gov. Pat Quinn and former President Bill Clinton. Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, said, "Chicago is honored to be the first North American city to host the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and we look forward to welcoming distinguished guests from around the globe in April."
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Actor Sean Penn is expected to receive the 2012 Peace Summit Award for his work in Haiti and said in a statement that the award was an "extraordinary honor in an extraordinary moment on Earth."
Other laureates expected to be present include former Polish President Lech Walesa, Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, Frederik Willem de Klerk of South Africa and Oscar Arias of Costa Rica.
The AP noted that the summit will be an opportunity to showcase Chicago as the laureates attend discussions at the University of Illinois at Chicago, The Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall.
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