On April 4, the International Day of Mine Awareness, the GICHD organised an event on the Federal Square in the Swiss Capital of Bern under the slogan #TogetherAgainstMines.
In a mock minefield, visitors could see a manual demining operation as well as a mine detection dog at work. Different types of mines and explosive remnants of war as well as a 12-ton demining machine were displayed on the square.
We were honoured to receive the Swiss Federal Councillor and Defence Minister Guy Parmelin, who formally opened the event. We were also honoured to welcome the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN, Ambassador Beatriz Londoño Soto, and the Director of Handicap International Switzerland, Mrs. Petra Schroeter, who both spoke at the opening ceremony.
Together with the GICHD, six other Swiss organisations active in mine action were present at the event, giving an insight into their activities: Swissint, Swiss EOD Centre, Handicap International Switzerland, Digger DTR, FSD and Geneva Call.
The event held on the Federal Square in Bern received strong support from the Swiss media. Below, a sampling on how the event was reported on the evening news in three of the country's official languages: German, French and Italian.
How do you transfer the central square of a capital city into a mock minefield? Have a look at how we did it on April 4 2017 in Bern, Switzerland, when the Federal Square became a virtual minefield and much more on the International Day of Mine Awareness.