MONTREAL, Nov. 28, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - December 3rd, 2012 will mark the 15th anniversary of the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines. Dr. Jean-Baptiste Richardier, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Handicap International, will be come to Canada between December 2-5 to mark this anniversary as well as the 30th anniversary of the organization.
For the last 30 years, Handicap International has been ceaselessly working to clear mined land, raise the awareness of threatened populations, provide orthopaedic fitting for victims and ensure their inclusion in society. As co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, the organization has emerged as one of the leading voices for the millions of people who live under constant threat of these weapons.
Canada has played a key role in the conception and implementation of the Treaty, which is lauded today as one of the most successful bodies of international humanitarian law. However, there is still a lot of work to be done: more than 80 countries and territories are still infested with antipersonnel landmines. Every two hours, these weapon claim a new victim, many of them civilians.
For this reason, Dr. Richardier, who was already helping Cambodian landmine victims in the 1980s, will use this opportunity to take stock of the Treaty and to raise awareness among Canadians of the great effort that is still required to eradicate this scourge. Such efforts, for example, are illustrated by Canada's involvement in Mozambique supporting women deminers who are making the land once again accessible to villagers.
Fifteen years after the Ottawa Treaty and 30 years after its foundation, Handicap International calls upon Canada and the international community to continue its work to eradicate antipersonnel landmines by immediately stopping all use of these weapons, reinforcing mine clearance and victim assistance work and to pressure remaining States to become parties to the Ottawa Treaty.
Dr. Richardier will participate in the following events:
Ottawa, December 3rd, 2012
10.30-11.00 am: Joint press conference with Mines Action Canada and the Canadian Landmine Foundation at the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, Charles Lynch room.
Montreal, December 4th, 2012
17.00-20.30 pm: Benefit cocktail with silent auction at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In presence of artist Dominique Blain, author Kim Thúy, and with a performance by musician Edgar Bori.
SOURCE: HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
For further information:
514 574 4100