07 October 2016

Eradication of landmines plays a key role

President Santos 1

Today the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to President Juan Manuel Santos in recognition of his efforts to return peace to Colombia by ending its decades-long civil war.

The Committee noted that "The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process."

The eradication of landmines is a vital part of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC rebels. In March 2015, both parties came to an agreement to work together to remove landmines as a fundamental step towards an ultimate peace.  

President Santos Lends His Leg

President Santos lending his leg as part of a global campaign in solidarity with landmine victims. March 2012. 

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines congratulates President Santos for receiving the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. The Colombian government should live up to the Prize’s aim and spirit by deploying every effort to clear and destroy all landmines by March 2021, and to uphold the rights and address the needs of all landmine victims, according to its obligation under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

"The Nobel Prize not only recognizes what has been achieved, but also carries great responsibility to continue the work for sustainable peace with justice and equality. Despite the stunning result of the October peace referendum, I truly hope that all Colombians do everything they can to turn all elements of this peace agreement into action, including by ridding the country of landmines once and for all," said Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997) and ICBL Ambassador.

Colombia is affected by landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war, which have taken a heavy toll on the people of Colombia with at least 11,100 recorded casualties. Colombia joined the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1997. In March 2016 Colombia became a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

"The Nobel Prize for Colombia, awarded to its President and as a tribute to the Colombian people, and in particular, to the victims of the Colombian conflict, is proof of the support the international community has dedicated to its peace process. As Colombians, we are divided over the peace process and the "No" vote won in the recent referendum that rejected the contents of the peace agreement. Nevertheless, the dream of peace remains alive and the prize is the incentive that will keep the light of hope burning." said Alvaro Jimenez, Coordinator of La Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas (CCCM). 

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines, jointly with Jody Williams, was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts to bring about the Mine Ban Treaty that aims "to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines."

Pre Santos With Megan 598X377

President Santos with Megan Burke, Director of the ICBL-CMC, following a meeting about Colombia's ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. ©Juan David Tena - GIS. 10 August 2015.