Conversations that #OfferPeace


In Conversation with Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

Correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Trymaine Lee talks with Nobel Prize Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Muhammad Yunus.

AIRED: October 04, 2021 | 0:44:23

Hello, and a warm welcome

to The Peace Studio's Conversations That Offer Peace

in conversation with Nobel laureates.

My name is Trymaine Lee.

And I'm honored to be joined today

by three incredible peace builders

who have all been awarded

the highest peace building honor,

the Nobel Peace Prize.

Joining us live from Dakar is social entrepreneur, banker,

economist, and civil society leader Muhammad Yunus.

From Putney, Vermont,

American political activist Jody Williams.

And joining us from London with her wonderful translator,

Shirin Ershadi, is Iranian political activist, lawyer,

human rights activist, and former lawyer Dr. Shirin Ebadi.

Thank you all for joining us today.

So let's just jump right in here.

Peace was the fifth and final prize area

that Alfred Nobel mentioned in his will.

In his will, he states -- Now I want to read this --

"The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts,

which shall be apportioned as follows --

one part to the person who shall have done the most

or the best work for fraternity between nations,

the abolition or reduction of standing armies,

and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

What immediately jumps out to me

is the connection between the causes of an unjust world

versus the effort to maintain the peace

once it has been secured.

Ms. Williams, I want to start with you.

You worked toward the banning

and clearing of anti-personnel mines,

a form of mine designed for use against humans,

which is really an extraordinary accomplishment.

I'm curious to hear, though,

how involved you continue to be in this effort today.

And generally speaking,

what keeps your peace building torch aflame

in these dark times?

Williams: I am involved peripherally now

in the landmine campaign,

but I am a co-founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots,

which are fully autonomous weapons

that can target and kill humans with no human intervention

in the decision of targeting and killing.

It's terrifying.

What keeps me going, honestly,

when I think about peace

is trying to help people understand that peace

is not simply the absence of war.

That is the bottom line to be able to move forward

to create a just world, sustainable peace,

and equality more or less, if you know what I mean,

given the inequalities in today's world.

And to me, just two other points,

to be able to address those issues,

we have to tackle violence as a marker of our history.

You know, all the great wars

that we've supposedly prevailed in,

except for Vietnam and this one,

and attacking militarism.

Half of the discretionary budget of the United States of America

goes to the Pentagon.

That is an obscenity.

It means that every other aspect of life

in this country splits 50%.

The State Department, for example, gets 3%.

What does that tell you if you look at --

just looking at the discretionary budget,

you see that U.S. leads with military force.

It does not lead with dialogue, discussion,

trying to find resolution.

You know, and the Pentagon's budget right now,

the requested increase

is more than the entire budget of the CDC

when we are in our second year of the coronavirus.

It's an obscenity.

You speak in terms of the budget.

I believe the last budget was like $770 billion

or upward of that number.

And I do want to ask you quickly,

you talk about this notion of peace

as its kind of an action word, right?

It's actionable.

But once you make great progress,

what work goes into actually maintaining that peace

once you achieve those goals?

To me, it has to be a complete shift

in the paradigm of understanding security.

Security is not more nuclear weapons.

Security is not arming Australia with nuclear submarines.

Security is not when Germany is considering aircraft

with nuclear weapons.

That's terrifying.

What makes us secure is education.

What makes us secure is health -- [ Telephone rings ]

sorry about the phone -- health care.

What makes us secure is housing.

What makes us secure is diversity.

What makes us secure is shifting this obscene economy,

the global economy where a handful of people

have more money than the rest of the world combined.

That's security.

You know, where my life and your life

are equally respected and dignified, that's security.

And that's what I've worked for for decades.

Thank you. We'll forgive the phone.

We know you are a peace superhero,

so it's like the Bat-phone ringing.

Someone around the world needs some peace building.

I'll hope it's that, but it probably isn't.

Professor Yunus, you were awarded

for pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance,

opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs

that often didn't qualify for traditional bank loans.

Now, in terms of offering equal opportunity

for financial growth and stability,

where do you think we still need improvement

and how do you see young peace builders

fitting into this equation?

Well, about the opportunities, you need lots and lots of them.

We've just started in a small way four

and five years back,

lending tiny, tiny little money $3, $5,

$10 worth of money to women,

destitute women with no education,

illiterate totally, in remote villages.

Bank will never look at them,

and forget about lending money.

So we created something to provide them the money they need

so that they can start something, a business,

raising chickens, raising vegetables,

and sell it and take care of themselves, et cetera.

And then it grew,

became known as microcredit and microfinance.

And I started saying that the banking system

is designed the wrong way.

Because it has ignored, has discarded

the more than half the population of the entire world.

It doesn't work with them.

They are left to the mafia.

They are left to the loan sharks,

left to payday lenders and all kinds of things,

but not the real banking.

And they kept saying that it cannot be done

because they are not credit-worthy.

And I raised the question

whether you tell them that they are not credit-worthy,

they should tell you that you're not people-worthy.

Why don't you resent yourself?

And we designed a system which works,

and it became known as microcredit

and created a bank called Grameen Bank.

And so it was the opposite of the conventional banking.

Conventional banks go lend money

to the rich and the super rich.

We reversed it. We go to the poor and the poorest.

Conventional bank go to men, primarily.

We reversed it. We go to primarily women.

97% of our borrowers in Grameen Bank,

even on all the microcredit programs globally,

are women and destitute women

who never had any experience of handling money.

We gave the money, and the money comes back.

And conventional banking wants collateral.

Before I give you money, you must show me

how much you got so that I can grab that thing

if you don't pay me back.

We've said that's over because

you cannot go to the poor people and ask for collateral.

So we created a banking without collateral.

Since we have a banking without collateral,

one more important thing happened.

We have no lawyers in our system

because the moment you bring the positions

and the collateral, you need documents, you need lawyers.

So we created a banking system totally lawyer-free.

So this is what it is.

And then the point that I wanted to tell you about

is that this is a banking

because it's something which was never done before.

And the people remained poor

because you don't have institutions

to provide the support they need,

not in a charity way,

because that's the only thing people knew,

that poor people has to be helped by charity.

I said no, they need the opportunity, not the charity.

You create institutions for them,

which is good for them.

So I said poverty is created not by the poor people.

Poverty is created by the system that you've built,

and that's the point I wanted to make.

The system which creates all these problems,

the economics that we have today --

Economics doesn't have any humanity.

It needs only money, maximization of profit,

knows stock market prices, knows it.

That's not humanistic.

So we built the system based on humanity

so that you address those issues.

And because it doesn't exist, we created the internal system

which brings all the money to few people

because the system works that way.

The richer you are,

more financing you get from institutions.

If you don't have anything,

you don't get anything, as simple as that.

As a result, a strange world where less than 1%

of the population of the entire world --

less than 1% of the entire world have more than 99%

of the wealth of the entire world.

And it's getting worse every day.

So you have wealth on one direction

moving away from people

and people are left at the lower end of the system.

So 99% of the people

are at the bottom level of the income scale,

and all the wealth is not here.

All the wealth is in a kind of sky,

even outer space, belonging to a handful of people.

So that wealth and people are segregated by the system.

This is the inhuman system, an unjust system.

So that's where you create all the problem.

You want to make more money,

so you want to make nuclear weapons,

you need nuclear submarines,

you invest money so that you get more money.

Even when the pandemic came,

we are just going through this pandemic globally.

Poor people lost everything. Whatever even they had.

They lost their income. They lost their positions.

They lost their ability to put food in front of them

They couldn't pay the rent.

This is global.

Not millions but billions of people suffered.

What happened during that time?

Trillions of dollars added to the rich people.

Same time. So this is the system we're talking.

So unless you redesign the system where the people

and the world should be living together,

not separated out, nothing can be done

because this is just a totally explosive situation.

Still we should be thankful to our stars

that we're still not killing each other

despite the fact that this is what is happening in the world.

We cannot change that because if you try to change that,

you will be told something

that people start disliking you, that you said.

So this is the system --

We have to redesign financial system at the core of it

and then other systems like the global warming, fossil fuel,

and the world is going to disappear in a few years time.

Human beings becoming most endangered species already.

Survival is at stake.

But we are merrily going on, our houses burning.

We are having a big party inside the house,

celebrating our global prosperity,

our technological achievements, and so on.

What do you have, the technological achievement,

when you don't have anything left?

It's all burning trash.

We don't know. Don't care.

IPCC report still says in the next 10 years --

oh, sorry, next 20 years,

we'll be reaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius,

which is the beginning of the red zone of our existence

and making it impossible to come back.

It's a point of no return.

Are we aware of it? Are we talking about it?

No, that's not -- We enjoy our life.

We'll have COP26 meeting coming up,

and routinely, we'll go through the whole thing.

Making promises -- by 2050, we'll get to the zero.

2050's far, far away. We're talking about 2040,

when we will be entering the red zone.

Why can't we make the commitment?

We don't want to enter the red zone.

We want to reverse our process.

Only then we can make it happen.

Thank you.

Professor Yunus, when I hear you describe

this kind of systemic inequality in the banking system

in particular, it sounds like the system

isn't valuing necessarily the credit of the individual,

but their humanity, right?

And I wonder, with a system rife

with this kind of inequity and that kind of sentiment

that poor people aren't worthy in some way,

if you found some unlikely allies in the system.

Have you found folks that were part of the system

but decided to, you know, maybe help you out?

Yeah, we created -- now it's a global phenomenon.

Microcredit is no longer something happens in Bangladesh.

We have helped create a microcredit program

in the U.S.A. called Grameen America.

It's headquartered in New York. It started from there.

Now it works in 25 major cities in the U.S.A.,

including Los Angeles and San Francisco and others.

25 cities --

Sorry, 15 cities with 25 branches.

And we have over 150,000 borrowers, all women.

Women who find $500 loan is a huge thing for them,

or $1,000 loan is a big thing for them.

Now they're the one we took in,

and most of them have no documents

because they are immigrants,

can't even speak the language

because they are the ones constituted as inner cities

and so on.

So we give them the loans

to start their businesses and so on.

They have the skill, but never be able to use that skill

because nobody will give them the money.

The only money available, as I said,

from the payday lenders and so on, so forth,

which is something else

you grab everything, whatever she has.

So we wanted to do that.

With nearly 100% repayment over the last 12 years,

we are doing that.

See, with no collateral, nothing,

and no jiggle time so that we can do that.

So they start the business. They become entrepreneurs.

This is what we have been checking.

All human beings are entrepreneurs.

A job is a kind of a misuse of their talent.

You have pushed into the system

because you want to make money

by using human being as your product

so that you can move up.

But I think go back in the entire human history,

we are never working for anybody.

We were hunters and gatherers,

and you do things, our own things,

and we continue to live on our own.

But only recently we said,

"No, no, you have to work with somebody."

And so we said, "No, basically, you're an entrepreneur,

and all we need is a financing of the entrepreneurship."

I said the finance is the oxygen of entrepreneurship.

If you put money on the table, everybody around the table

becomes entrepreneur because money is available

so I can use my mind.

I don't have to go and register myself

in the unemployment bureau, wait for months and wait for things.

Get pushed from here to pushed from there.

I don't have to because I have the talent,

I have the creativity.

That's where the [Speaks indistinctly] becomes important.

So I give the examples of U.S.A. now,

in 12 years, we've given over $2 billion in loans

to those humans.

$2 billion with perfect repayment.

And continued.

But banking system doesn't adopt that.

So why doesn't the banking system adopt that?

Do they say "Oh, they're not credit-worthy"?

They're credit-worthy. It's been documented.

Now they have a credit rating.

When they entered, they had zero credit rating.

Now, with 12 years, they have credit rating.

So why didn't you take them? What's your problem?

Why didn't you create banks like the Grameen America

so that it can be financing all the women,

all the unemployed young people who needs financing and so on?

What's your problem with that?

And since it works globally,

I just give the example the United States,

because we're talking to you.

Thank you very much.

Dr. Ebadi, I want to come to you.

Where do you think the focus should be

on healing existing injustices or maintaining peace

or some combination of both?

And can you give us some examples of

peace that needs to be attained

and examples of where peace needs to be maintained?

Ershadi: [ Interpreting ] So the absence of war

does not mean that we have peace.

It doesn't matter if you're shot by the enemy

or if you're not vaccinated

or if you don't get the medication that you need.

And it doesn't matter if you are taken by a foreign enemy

or if you've written an article

and you have to spend the rest of your life in prison.

All of this is injustice.

So I think that peace is conditions where human beings

can freely live by saving their dignity.

And in order for a sustainable peace,

it has to be built on democracy and justice.

And these two have to exist

so that we can sustain peace.

And this is at the national level

and at the international level.

For example, if you look at the situation

of a country like Iran, which is a wealthy country,

90% of the people have been drawn into poverty,

but only 10% have a lot of money.

It is very real that people cannot tolerate that,

and they want to know why.

Why is this the case?

So I am sure that one day the peace that exists there

is not going to be there any longer.

It will explode. People will revolt.

The same is true when governments,

instead of building hospitals and schools,

allocate their budget to militarism and buying weapons

so they can remain in power or build prisons in order

to put the dissenting people in there.

There people do not have a role.

There is no democracy, and people don't want that.

And look at the international issue.

We all listened to Professor Yunus.

And now we know of the inequality

that exists in the world.

Do you think that the future of the world will be peaceful?

Just look at different areas in the world.

Everyone is fighting some sort of a war.

In the past when we talked about wars,

it was killing the enemy,

but now there is another war,

which is an economic war.

Powerful countries and rich people,

wealthy people have started an economic war against the poor.

This is why we see that the poor are getting poorer every day.

There is no justice.

The democracy that we see in this world is not real.

Look at the United Nations,

which is supposed to be a symbol of peace.

Look at the Security Council,

which is really powerful in the U.N. structure.

There are approximately 200 countries

as members of the U.N.,

but only five countries are represented

in the Security Council and have a veto right.

Do we think that the rest of the countries are going to just sit

and listen to this and wait for China

and the U.S. to do whatever they want to do?

If that's the case, it's a mistake.

Thank you very much.

This question goes out to our entire panel.

Where do you feel the state of peace in the world is now

as opposed to how it was the year you won?

And Professor Yunus, let's start with you.

You won in 2006. What are you thinking here?

Have we made progress? Where do we stand today?

Yunus: Well, just giving one example,

because you had a pandemic,

this is something that we cannot just walk away from,

the world revealed itself all the troubles

we have kind of consumed

within ourselves during the pandemic.

Look, people lost income,

as I said before, lost everything,

and other people have made

trillions of dollars at the same time.

So we are hoping that someday vaccines will be there

and we'll have the vaccines, we'll get over this pandemic,

et cetera, et cetera.

And vaccines came at the end of last year

and then started to be distributed.

That's fine.

And we were just appealing to the world leaders to,

first of all, make a decision

that this vaccine should be declared as a common good,

meaning that this should not have

any intellectual property right

so that it is available to everybody to produce

and distribute.

They didn't pay any attention,

and it continues over the whole year.

This year we have been campaigning for that,

that it should be declared as a patent-free vaccine

so that everybody has access to it.

Today, only a handful of companies

produce these vaccines.

The entire vaccine that is produced in the world,

75% of those vaccines have gone to only 10 countries.


And the entire African continent so far has received

only 2% of those vaccines.

They could vaccinate

only 2% of the population.

And when will they get the vaccines?

Next year? Year next? Year next?

If we go in that speed that we are going,

it will take 57 years

to get to Africa

and other countries similar to that.

So this is the situation.

I put it very simple way to the leaders

to understand what I'm saying.

I said, "Look, last year in the beginning,

we didn't have the knowledge how to fight this virus.

And we are absolutely helpless.

Every country, every person on this planet

is totally helpless.

But by the end of the year, luckily,

we now have the knowledge, the vaccine,

how to protect ourselves."

And during this year, when we are hoping

that these vaccines will protect us,

we see one surprising thing --

it goes only to few countries.

They bought up what they need

for their own people and more than that,

several times more than what they need,

while countries in Africa and other countries

are waiting for getting their first taste of vaccines

for their people.

They couldn't get it.

And now countries are going to third dose,

although W.H.O.'s saying

third dose doesn't really help anybody.

It's not the one that you need.

So they're monopolizing.

The point I make,

this is a knowledge how to protect billions --

8 billions people on this planet.

That is the knowledge we have,

but this knowledge is not shared.

That's intellectual property rights.

Why? Because I want to make money.

So they have money in one hand

versus life of millions of people.

All you have to do,

say "You produce whatever you can.

I'm not going to sue you for that

because I'm not having intellectual property rights

to myself." That's all.

Then many countries in the world can produce that.

Even if the present companies tried to produce it,

they have no capacity to produce enough vaccines

for the whole world.

So why don't you share it?

You don't want to share your knowledge, that's all.

And this knowledge is not yours alone

because governments have funded many of this research.

We went into it to produce that.

I said state the case why people should not be angry.

Why it should not be a ticking time bomb to explode?

Is this the world we want?

I die, and you make money?

During this one year of vaccine availability,

during this one year, there are nine billionaires

created within the vaccine company.

New billionaires created in the vaccine companies.

And this vaccine is now being sold many times

more the price than actually it cost.

I'm not objecting to that part.

I'm simply saying share the knowledge.

You don't have to pay a penny for them.

I take care of myself.

You just share -- I know that many of them,

many of the companies already know the formula,

but they cannot produce it in the fear

they'll be sued and they'll be wiped out completely

because violation of intellectual property rights.

So we went to the United Nations.

We couldn't get this approved by the United Nations.

We went to W.T.O. to see that they can do that.

They have tried several times.

Many countries opposed.

Luckily, U.S.A. have supported it now.

Only country sticking out is still Germany.

It needs consensus.

It needs everybody's support to get it approved.

A temporary waiver.

Not complete waiver, temporary waiver to get that.

We still couldn't get it

because of the opposition from Germany.

They're not going to work for it.

So it will come back again

in the United Nations General Assembly

in a few days.

What happens?

So this is the kind of world that we have created.

Money is supreme.

It doesn't have any humanity part

built into the economic part of it.

Otherwise, you cannot explain

why a human being can do such a thing.

"I have the knowledge. I'll protect it.

You can go and die because I do not jeopardize my profit."

That's all.

If we know anything, it's the powers-that-be

continue to put profit over people.

Meanwhile, in wealthy countries like the United States,

millions and millions and millions of doses

of the vaccine have gone wasted.

Dr. Ebadi, I wanted to happen with you

and get your take.

You won in 2003.

When you look at the state of peace in the world,

are we better off today than we were when you won in 2003?

Unfortunately, no.

At the international level,

and when we look at the Middle East,

we see that the situation is worse.

I want to focus on the Middle East,

tell you about what's happening in these countries

pursuant to the statistics of the United Nations

approximately published two years ago.

Half of the weapons of the whole world

is sold through the Middle East governments.

Do we know what this means?

This means violence in those countries.

Why would we need this many weapons there?

Look at the Yemen situation

and look at the situation of the people in that country.

We have a humanitarian crisis there.

People are hungry.

There's not even enough milk for the newborn.

But then different groups on, the basis of different excuses,

just in order to add to their power, bomb this country.

And I'm so sorry that my country,

Iran, is a culprit as well.

Or look at Lebanon.

Look at what situation Lebanon is today.

People have to wait in line for hours in order to get gas.

Sometimes they even have to go back home

because there is no gas available to them.

They are not getting their salaries paid.

There's not enough money. Look at Iraq.

Iraq is being actually governed by a bunch of militants.

They don't recognize the government

and they don't listen to the government

and they fight among each other.

They're killing each other all the time,

bombing each other.

Or even look at Turkey.

Turkey used to be the secular country in this region,

but it is taking steps towards fundamentalism

and becoming more religious.

In the name of religion,

they want to bring people to heaven,

like the government of Iran.

They think it's mandatory.

If we Muslims say we don't want to go to heaven,

what do we have to do?

Look at the Afghanistan situation.

It's really a humanitarian crisis there.

Jody, my dear colleague, talks about the politics in America.

But I want to give you another example

of diplomacy in America.

One of the Taliban terrorists whose name is Haqqani,

there was a bounty on his head

in the amount of $5 million.

But they have actually delivered the country of Afghanistan

to this guy and his colleagues.

And the guy who was supposed to be caught

on the basis of a bounty of $5 million

is now the Secretary of Internal Affairs

and controls the government.

Yeah, I want to jump to Ms. Williams.

I mean, the many crises that we've experienced,

you know, across the globe since 1997,

the ending of this war,

the perpetuation of -- whether it's violence by bullet

or violence by greed and corruption and hunger

and all those other things.

I wonder from your vantage point,

have we made any progress in terms of peace building

since 1997 when you won?

When I listen to Shirin and Muhammad,

it sounds like no.

When I think about some of the accomplishments

in terms of disarmament,

mostly led and pushed by civil society,

you know, forcing governments to do what they should do anyway,

it's an amazing record.

In '95, blinding laser weapons were banned,

'97, landmines were banned.

2008, cluster bombs were banned.

2017, there is a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Granted, it is a real --

It's the baseline, and there's

too much work to be done to make it reality,

but when you think about when civil society

comes together around the world,

I mean, we grew from two NGOs 1,300 in 90 countries

working together in common cause

to ban landmines.

When people come together

and we find allies in government, in business,

and U.N. International Committee of the Red Cross,

we can change this world.

It is possible, but it's all the issues

that Shirin and Muhammad are talking about.

The greed, the desire for power, and the more power you have,

the more power you want.

And when I started speaking,

I talked about the need to reclaim peace.

You know, calling people peaceniks, Kumbaya-ists,

looking at the dove and the rainbow

is a way to disempower

and shame people who want to do something.

And when you look at all the problems in the world,

you really can feel like, "What can I do?"

Alone, nothing.

Not nothing, but you know what I mean.

Changing the system,

beginning to change the system

takes people working together.

You know, the landmine campaign didn't succeed

just because I was part of it.

It succeeded because we were tens of thousands of people

around the world working together.

It can happen.

But I agree with Muhammad

that one of the big problems

is the economic system of the world,

especially with globalization.

You know, so few people control so many resources.

And it's easier, maybe easier, to impoverish others.

And I don't think it's just by happenstance

that people are impoverished.

It is a method of keeping people weak and...

...blocking their ability to try to bring

systemic economic change and equality.

One other thing when Muhammad was talking

about the COVID vaccines,

I've been thinking about this a lot.

How much of the lack of desire

to help poor countries around the world is racism.

Right? "All of Africa.

Who cares, right?

Bangladesh, who cares?

All those poor nations with all those poor people?


It's us rich people who control the world

who get what we want, right?"

I mean, that's the thinking. It's racist.

You're on to something. I think you're on to something.

But I actually want to -- For the sake of time,

I want to get to one last question,

and you kind of teed it up perfectly for us here.

You talk about this idea of individual effort

and then collective action.

And you all, this esteemed panel,

are all Nobel Peace Prize winners,

which is an exceptional group of people.

As an individual, you know,

it can be quite daunting to look at these accomplishments

and wonder where one might drive change themselves.

So I want to ask you all to our audience

of young, ambitious storytellers and media makers,

I'd love to finish with these questions.

If you could keep it a little tight

so we can get to an audience question,

I would love it.

Ms. Williams, let's stick with you here.

Why is peace building work still of such importance today?

It seems obvious,

but is there a way to scale it for everyday people

so they can feel like they too can make a difference

as so-called peace builders?

If you look at security in terms of human security,

not national security,

people can contribute at any level of society.

I can be taking on the companies

that pollute my neighborhood because I'm poor.

Uniting with other people like Flint,

where they got the leaded water.

It just takes the courage to take the first step.

We can't change everything.

So what is the issue or a couple of issues

that I really get agitated about?

Who is working on it?

How can I participate to bring about change?

I started as a volunteer, for God's sake.

Hmm. It's just taking the first step.

And knowing that when we started the landmine campaign,

for example, I never thought we would have a treaty

in five years.

I thought it'd be 20,

but at least we'd be helping people.

Who knew that the forces that came together

created a treaty in five years?

That's like diplomatic shock in the world, right?

If we work together, we can change the world.

And peace means equality.

Peace means an economy that speaks to everyone.

Peace means COVID vaccines for everyone.

Peace means education worthy of the name.

You know, there's so many areas

where we can work.

It's taking the first step, and then it's easy.

And actually, I've had fun as an activist since Vietnam.

The first step is so important.

Professor Yunus, what opportunities and ways

do you personally see for people,

especially young people,

to get involved in peace building in today's society?

First of all, I would just tell the young people

that you are the most lucky

and the most powerful generation in human history.

Not because you are smarter than the previous generation,

just because you have tremendous amount of technology

in your hands,

which no previous generation ever had.

So that makes you superhuman, really.

First, become aware

that you are not just a run-of-the-mill human being

that the world has brought in generation after generation.

You are a breed of new generation,

which is a super human being.

You can do anything you want.

That's the power you have.

So you become aware that you have a power.

Then ask yourself what use you want to make this power for,

because you are the decision maker.

You don't wait for anybody else.

You just decide you have the power to change the world.

Aladdin's lamp is in your hands.

The moment you touch it, genie will come.

In this case, you are the genie.

You don't have to ask anybody.

You just go ahead and do it because you have the power.

And then what do you want to do?

Genie -- I think that would be a big selling point.

You are the genie. Definitely you are the genie.

You can do anything you want.

And the world that the previous generation created

is a terrible world.

First decision you have to make,

"We don't want to repeat this world anymore.

Enough is enough."

That world has created global warming.

Don't forget that.

Taking away from you, your generation,

the future.

Your generation doesn't have a future

because global warming will not leave you in peace.

You cannot continue.

Your generation is the most

endangered generation in the planet.

You're the most powerful,

you're the most endangered generation

because you may not see the light of the world.

Your children -- your children will be worse.

Our responsibility as human being was

each generation promising to itself

that we will hand over the planet better than we found it.

That's the commitment for each generation.

But previous generations, including ours,

did the opposite.

It made worse at every turn.

So you are the one, the new generation.

Do not want to continue, no going back to that system

which will continue to make it worse.

You reverse it and you create a new world.

And you have to have an imagination.

Imagination is a power. Don't forget that.

If you imagine, it will happen.

Dr. Ebadi, with everything that Professor Yunus

just said right there,

you know, what's at stake for the next generation

if they don't take the torch

that you all have kept aflame all these years?

What's at stake here for the next generation?

Of course, the future belongs to young people.

It's our young people that are going to build the future.

And the most important thing

that a young person needs is hope.

They have to be hopeful that they can do it.

Usually young people, they're scared of losing.

Scared of failure.

And that's why they don't do it.

For example, they may imagine something,

but then they are scared of taking a step forward.

But I tell young people it's not important.

If one loses, get up, continue.

I think that in any person's life,

failure is like taking a step back

in order to be able to jump a hurdle.

So if young people are hopeful and not be scared of failure,

they can achieve that.

It's on the basis of their movement

that the world will get a better place,

whether it being political issues

or economic or any other field,

we have to give more opportunity to young people.

I'm surprised when I see people

at the age of 81, 82, 83 running for presidency.

Why don't we let younger people take over?

Maybe they can do a better job.

Maybe they think better.

So if we provide our young people

with the opportunity to come up with solutions,

we're not gonna get anywhere

because they're the ones who have to bring the change.

And as Professor Yunus said,

technology can help a lot of young people,

but I hope that they start using that and they move forward.

So be hopeful, have dreams, and follow your dreams.

Thank you so much for joining us for the Peace Studio's

Conversations That Offer Peace

in conversation with Nobel Peace Laureates.

We hope this conversation has inspired you

and that you might find yourself reminded of the power you have

to build more just and loving communities

through your choices and actions.



♪ Take my hand ♪

♪ These oceans still have waves ♪

♪ Tell me what the water says ♪

♪ Let it watch us dance again ♪


♪ Take my love ♪

♪ I still know how to sing your song ♪

♪ No matter where are ♪

♪ We never leave where we belong ♪

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la la ♪


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