WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 Dr. Rick Warren will present PresidentGeorge W. Bush with the first "International Medal of PEACE" from the GlobalPEACE Coalition in recognition of his unprecedented contribution to the fightagainst HIV/AIDS and other diseases during the Saddleback Civil Forum onGlobal Health, to be held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on World AIDSDay, Dec. 1.
At the Forum, Warren will engage both President Bush and Mrs. Laura Bushin candid conversation regarding past accomplishments and priorities movingforward regarding international health issues -- including HIV/AIDS,tuberculosis and malaria. President-elect Barack Obama will provide avideo-taped message addressing the future of global health.
"No U.S. president or political leader has done more for global healththan this Administration, which has raised the bar on America's role andresponsibility for providing critical humanitarian assistance around theworld," Warren said. "Over the past eight years, the President and Mrs. Bushhave traveled the globe as they and their staffs have worked tirelessly tobring awareness and solutions to pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, and we areprivileged to honor their efforts on World AIDS Day."
The "International Medal of PEACE" is given on behalf of the Global PEACECoalition for outstanding contribution toward alleviating the five globalgiants recognized by the Coalition, including pandemic diseases, extremepoverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and spiritual emptiness. TheCoalition is a network of churches, businesses and individuals cooperatingtogether to solve humanitarian issues through the PEACE Plan, an effort tomobilize 1 billion Christians to Promote reconciliation, Equip servantleaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation.
During the Forum, Warren will recognize President Bush and hisAdministration for their implementation and success of the President'sEmergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided $18.8 billionsince 2003 to combat global HIV/AIDS. Congress has recently authorized anadditional $48 billion for ongoing efforts to address this pandemic as well astuberculosis and malaria over the next five years.
"As my wife Kay and I have been implementing the PEACE Plan in 68developing countries, we have seen firsthand many of the hundreds of thousandsof lives that have been saved through PEPFAR and the President's MalariaInitiative," Warren said. "I hope that this Forum will show the Americanpeople that our global health programs represent more than compassionatehumanitarian efforts, but are also a strong, prudent pillar of Americanforeign policy."
The historic event will be appropriately held at the Newseum, a250,000-square-foot museum of news, located at the intersection ofPennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. Dedicated tooffering visitors an interactive experience of how and why news is made, theNewseum will make news in and of itself by hosting this Forum, which will bethe first original broadcast inside its 535-seat theater.
Leading representatives from the U.S. Congress; faith- and community-basedorganizations; non-governmental organizations; the diplomatic community;multilateral groups; foundations; local churches and representatives fromother private sector entities are being invited to attend thisinvitation-only, ticketed event.
Saddleback Church has historically observed World AIDS Day by hosting aGlobal Summit on AIDS and The Church, drawing thousands of participants andfeaturing global keynote speakers and informative sessions led by experts inbusiness, government, medicine, non-profits and ministry who are workinglocally and globally in an attempt to end AIDS.
The Summit, held the past three years at Saddleback Church, wasstrategically and historically unique, built entirely around a practical"local church-based" strategy designed to mobilize millions of congregationsaround the world for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
The Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health will be held in lieu of thisyear's Global Summit on AIDS and The Church. The Saddleback Civil Forums wereestablished to promote civil discourse and the common good of all. The mostrecent, The Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, was held at SaddlebackChurch in August and featured presumptive presidential nominees Sens. BarackObama and John McCain to discuss issues of leadership. The two-hour eventfeatured each candidate, separately, in a conversational question and answerformat with Warren.
"In addition to my primary calling to proclaim the Gospel message, theseCivil Forums further my three other life goals: helping individuals acceptresponsibility, helping the Church regain credibility and encouraging oursociety to return to civility," Warren said.
Founded in 1980 by the Warrens, Saddleback Church is located in LakeForest, Calif. With an average weekly attendance of 22,000, it is one of thefive largest churches in America. For additional information about theSaddleback HIV/AIDS Initiatives, visit http://www.HIVandTheChurch.com orhttp://www.RwandaHealthcare.com.
A live, five-camera switched feed of the entire program will be providedto any networks or outlets interested in downlinking or carrying video oraudio of this program. It will also be live-streamed tohttp://www.SaddlebackCivilForum.com. Contact Greg Flessing at 530.888.7676,or via e-mail at [email protected]
To sign up for the event, all media MUST CALL the White House Office ofMedia Affairs at 202.456.6238 no later than 5:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Nov. 26,2008. Credentials will be issued on-site on the day of the event.
Future media alerts, updates and follow-up news releases about this eventwill be posted, as available, at http://www.RickWarrenNews.com.FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: A. Larry Ross 972.267.1111 Vicki Morgan 469.774.6377 [email protected]
SOURCE Saddleback Church