A Lawrence resident who has long been active in working to improve U.S.-Soviet relations from a non-government position will receive two awards in Moscow next week to recognize his achievements in the field of citizen diplomacy.
The Lawrence resident, Bob Swan, will be honored as co-founder of the Elbe Alliance, an organization that aims to rekindle the spirit of cooperation when U.S. and Soviet troops linked up at the Elbe River in Germany during World War II. The second award will recognize Swan's work with the "Heart to Heart'' program, which works to lower heart disease in the Soviet Union.
Swan, who is now working on a project to bring Soviets to Lawrence in October for a Meeting for Peace, has organized several U.S.-Soviet initiatives, including three Soviet delegation visits to the United States last year.
In 1982, Swan co-founded Athletes United for Peace and helped organize the participation of Soviet track and field athletes in the 1983 Kansas Relays.
Swan left for Moscow on Friday and will receive the awards Tuesday during the Soviet-American Citizens' Summit II. The focus of the summit is the global environment.
At the session, Swan will chair a roundtable discussion on citizen diplomacy. He said about 200 delegates from the United States are expected to attend the summit.
The October Meeting for Peace that Swan is now organizing is scheduled for Oct. 12-19.
About 1,000 U.S. and Soviet citizens are expected to participate and discuss common goals and develop joint projects in areas such as the environment, business, education, arts and culture and citizen organization.
The final recommendation of the conference task forces will be incorporated into a Meeting for Peace Declaration, which will be presented to President George Bush, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.N. General Secretary Perez de Cuellar.
Three special events are planned during the conference. On Oct. 13-14, a Soviet-American Arts Festival will be held in Lawrence. Also on Oct. 13, a special "peace train'' will travel from Lawrence to Abilene in conjunction with the Eisenhower centennial celebration. And the third event will be a concert by U.S. and Soviet entertainers to be held in Lawrence on Oct. 19.