updated 12/13/2007 AT 2:40 PM ET
•originally published 12/13/2007 AT 2:50 PM ET
George Clooney and Don Cheadle accepted the Peace Summit Award Thursday for their work bringing attention to the atrocities in the Darfur Region of the Sudan.
“Don and I are here today to speak for those voices that can’t be heard over the sound of the violence. We’re here to plead for help,” Clooney said during a news conference in Rome where the ceremony was held.
The two actors received the award for their efforts to bring peace to the war-torn area of Africa. The 8th World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates – a group that includes former President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former Soviet President Michael Gorbachev – presented the award.
Referencing his father, newsman Nick Clooney, the actor said, “I’m the son of a journalist. And I understand that freedom of speech doesn’t give you the right to run into a crowded theater and yell FIRE. Unless of course there is one. There is a fire!”
The Michael Clayton star, who was nominated for a Golden Globe Thursday, asked for “the United States to appoint a full time high level envoy, not just a part time professor, to engage all parties in aggressive peace talks,” and called for the rest of the world leaders to make this a priority.”
He ended his speech by lauding the Laureates, who bestowed the honor on him. “You all here in this room have taught us so much. You’ve taught us that none of this comes easy Taught us that Peace, like war, must be waged. And you taught us to walk into a room where someone might give you an award and spend the entire time asking for help. On behalf of the scores of people waging peace in Darfur I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be here. And thank you.”