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Nobel Laureate Letter

Dear Nobel Laureate President Jimmy Carter,

Dear Mrs Rosalynn Carter,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

Today we are a privileged people.
We have taken part in a world event.

Not only in the Oslo City Hall this morning have people been inspired by words of wisdom in the pursuit of peace. This has been a world event in a global village longing for justice.
Thoughts and prayers of gratitude have this day been lifted from every corner of the world for the life and service of Jimmy Carter.

President Carter, a man of vision, has long been at centre stage in a world yearning for peace and justice.

President Carter, a man of reconciliation, has again been on the world podium to advocate a better future for people oppressed and tired of war and want.

President Carter, a man of hope, has called the entire world to see that faith and love create endurance.

Peace - shalom - salaam - peace in every language - means more than the absence of guns and bombs. Peace means human dignity, health, freedom - the answer to the deepest yearnings of children and of men and women of all ages, in every country, of every faith.

As we have listened to the message of President Carter today, we have applauded the sound advice given to world leaders and ordinary citizens alike. We have been strengthened in our resolve to defeat international terrorism and fanaticism of every brand.

We have been inspired to say in unison:

We want a world of peace and tolerance, not hate and war.
We want respect for human rights and international law.
We want the United Nations to prevail as guarantor of world order.

This day has given us the strongest affirmation of our shared humanity. We have been emboldened in our sense that every one of us counts. Indeed you and I can make a difference when the world leaders have to choose the perilous path between war and peace. Our consciousness has been awakened and our responsibility sharpened. We rejoice in the blessings of this historic day.

President Carter and The Carter Center have reached out to the needy of the world in ways respectful of their culture, their faith and their inherent human dignity - created in the image of God. The impressive record of the Center's 20 years of service to humanity is in itself worthy the highest praise, and so are the many co-workers and donors who have made this global vision come true.

Ladies and gentlemen,
We have attended a world event. But it was also a family event.

Therefore, we salute you, Rosalynn Carter for who you are - for what you personally have achieved, and for what you have contributed to the success of your husband. Your participation in his ministry has been key to this day of honour. Your never tiring advocacy for the cause of mental health is uniquely yours. It adds an important dimension to your joint struggle for human dignity for all.

We also greet you - all the proud children, grandchildren and family members of Jimmy and Rosalynn, who have come this long way to Oslo to share in this historic event. Thank you for letting us, in this city of peace, share your love and your pride

The President spoke eloquently today about a vision of "the table of friendship". That is what this banquet symbolizes. No greater joy can be given the Laureate than for all of us to make this evening a meeting of minds and hearts. So I say to all the friends of the Carter family and the Carter Center, to all the friends of the Nobel Peace Prize, let us around these tables, in the atmosphere of love and respect, dedicate ourselves to peace for all God's children.

Today, as we listened to the inspired words of the President, we have heard a testimony of faith humbly spoken and courageously practiced. His words echoed the words and the spirit of St. Paul: "Therefore, since it is by God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart."

Indeed, we do not lose heart!

Therefore, peace be with you!

Friends, please join me in a toast to President and Mrs Carter, to their family and to the Carter Center.

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