When we founded the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1982, we did so in the belief that peace is an imperative of the Nuclear Age. That is, in our time, peace is not only desirable; it is essential for human survival.
For the past 33 years, among our many projects and programs, we’ve honored some of the great Peace Leaders of our time, including the XIVth Dalai Lama; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Carl Sagan; Helen Caldicott; Jacques Cousteau; Mairead Maguire; Queen Noor and Daniel Ellsberg.
We have honored Peace Leaders from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. It is a diverse group of individuals tied together by their compassion, commitment and courage in pursuit of a more peaceful and decent world.
Each of these individuals recognizes the existential dangers of the Nuclear Age and the moral, legal and logical failings of reliance on nuclear weapons for security.
Each of them reminds us of how desperately our world needs Peace Leaders; and that each of us – if we apply our energy and will – can become a Peace Leader as well.
Tonight we honor Noam Chomsky.
By training and profession, he is one of the world’s leading linguists.
By choice and commitment, he is one of the world’s leading advocates of peace with justice.
His ongoing analysis of the global dangers confronting humanity is unsurpassed.
He is a man who unreservedly speaks truth to power, as well as to the People.
Like Socrates, he is a gentle gadfly who does not refrain from challenging authority and authoritarian mindsets.
He is a man who punctures hubris with wisdom.
He confronts conformity with critical thinking.
He has lectured throughout the world and written more than 100 books, the latest of which is Who Rules the World?
He is a dedicated peace educator and his classroom is the world.
The Boston Globe calls him “America’s most useful citizen.”
It is an honor to have him with us tonight, and it is my great pleasure, on behalf of the Directors and members of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, to present Noam Chomsky with the Foundation’s 2016 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award.