"Today, I am happy to see 162 countries have ratified but there is still a lot to be done"
Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga, Honorary President of the GICHD
Twenty years ago, on 3-4 December 1997, the movement to ban landmines brought about the signing of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the "Ottawa Convention", which has become a reference in humanitarian disarmament.
On December 4th 2017 at Place des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland we commemorated this landmark treaty's efforts with an official opening ceremony of the Exhibition.
The ceremony was facilitated by Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit Director, Juan Carlos Ruan.
“We are proud to commemorate the anniversary by launching this exhibit which is a celebration of our victories but is also an important reminder of our remaining challenges,” said Juan Carlos Ruan.
The Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Geneva, Ambassdor Thomas Hajnoczi, encouraged the mine action community to re-energize in order to meet the Convention's objective to free the world of anti-personnel mines by 2025.
The same sentiment was further emphasized by the Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Geneva, Ambassador Rosemary McCarney: "Today we recommit to our goal of ending landmines forever, so that never again will anyone ever be an innocent victim of these instruments of war."
This exhibit highlights the Convention's successes and remaining challenges by telling the stories of some of those affected by anti-personnel mines, showing the history of mines and explaining the history of the Convention. An open-air installation is on display at Place des Nations from 4 December 2017 to 11 December 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Virtual version of the exhibition can be seen at: www.togetheragainstmines.org
This exhibition was organized in partnership with the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit and Handicap International Switzerland.