The title Man of Peace was created in 1999 by the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome. The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals who have offered "an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace".
An initiative by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, himself a winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, the award is presented in Rome's Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) by President Gorbachev, Walter Veltroni, Mayor of Rome, and the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates attending the annual summit meeting.
Recipients of the award include:
- 2002: Roberto Benigni
- 2003: Italian National Singers’ Football Team
- 2004: Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
- 2005: Bob Geldof
- 2005: Ivan and Dawn Suvanjieff, Peacejam
- 2006: Peter Gabriel
- 2007: George Clooney, Don Cheadle
- 2008: Bono
In its early years the award was referred to as both the "Man for Peace" in Europe and "Man of Peace" in the United States. In 2006 its title was officially changed to "Man of Peace"