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A Warrior of Peace and Justice

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sean Penn received the top award from the Nobel Peace Prize laureates meeting yesterday in Chicago for his relief work in Haiti – the 2012 Peace Summit Award.

The award was presented by Mikhail Gorbachev at a three-day Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which includes former Polish president Lech Walensa, South African president F.W de Klerk and US president Jimmy Carter.

Gorbachev is a former chair and Honorary Committee President of Cinema for Peace, and has introduced the "Green Oscar" at the Cinema for Peace Gala with Leonardo DiCaprio in 2009. At a dinner at the Field Museum honouring the laureates, former President Bill Clinton gave a shoutout to Penn, Gorbachev, Frederik Willem De Klerk of South Africa, Lech Walesa of Poland and the Dalai Lama for their humanitarian efforts. "Sean Penn, as I have always said, is not a drive-by celebrity in Haiti," Clinton said. "He is the only movie star I've ever known to move into a (muddy) tent for three months."

With an emotional speech, Penn accepted the award and urged the world community to help Haiti: “We have a very short window to support this team of the Haitian people’s choosing." The actor is the founder of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, a rapidly growing and increasingly prominent aid group in Haiti. The organization manages two camps that are home to about 18,000 people. Penn spends half his time in Haiti and has already raised only with Cinema for Peace 7 million USD for the country’s reconstruction in Berlin, Cannes and Los Angeles. At the Cinema for Peace event "Help Haiti Home" for JP HRO he was also announced an Ambassador to Haiti by President Martelly. Sean stated in Chicago that considerable efforts are still necessary as the people continue to suffer under the consequences of the earthquake. The country is still dependent on donations from abroad. "Many people are still homeless, there is not enough clean drinking water and the living conditions for children are beyond bad”, Penn declared.

 

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