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Bali Heals the World

Over 650 Attend Opening Ceremony of Quest for Global Healing Conference II in Ubud.

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At the opening session of the Quest for Global Healing Conference II on Thursday, May 4, 2006, two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - Desmond Tutu and Betty Williams, delivered the opening words of welcome and inspiration to over 650 participants who had gathered in Bali's hillside community of Ubud to seek to build a better, safer, more peaceful future.

Quoted in the English-language Jakarta Post, former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu opened the conference saying: "we are he to make a change in our world. We try to find solutions together."

Tutu won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 in recognition of "the courage and heroism shown by black South Africans in their use of peaceful methods in the struggle against apartheid." Betty Williams, who joined Tutu in opening the Bali Conference, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976, shared with Mairead Maquire, for their work in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.

Both Tutu and Williams enthralled their listeners in Ubud with tales of the personal struggles for peace and global understanding.

The Bali conference from May 3-9, 2006, adopted as its theme "Inspiring Actions for World Renewal" convening community and youth leaders from across Indonesia and around the world to address issues such as poverty, human rights, social justice and the environment.

The product of a bold vision of healing a wounded world, two Sausalito, California residents - Marcia Jaffe and Wilford Welch Ė organized the Quest for Global Healing Conference (QGH) and invited an impressive cast of speakers including Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; former President of Indonesia - KH Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) who heads an organization of 40 million Muslims; Nobel Peace Laureates Rev. Desmond Tutu and Betty Williams; and a host of both prominent and ordinary citizens from around the world.

President Yudhoyono was scheduled to open the event but prevented from opening the conference due to an overseas trip in the Middle East. Marcia Jaffe, speaking to the Jakarta Post, was obviously disappointed at the President'ís failure to attend, saying: "The President should be here to convince all distinguished scholars and innovators here, who come mostly from the United States and other Western countries, that Indonesia is a safe and beautiful country."

Jafee, however, was still hopeful that the President would be on hand for the closing ceremony.

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