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Nobel Peace Prize support worldwide Landmines Campaign

10-10-1997 News Release 97/28

Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of  Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies offer their warmest congratulations to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the campaign's coordinator Jody  Williams on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines. The Nobel Committee's decision recognizes the campaign's tremendous efforts since the early 1990s and honours in particular the victims of these appalling weapons, who can take courage from the fact that their suffering has not gone unnoticed.

The success of the campaign reflects a growing commitment on the part of civil society to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, a development that augurs well for the future of this body of law.

The recent conclusion of the treaty banning anti-personnel landmines at the Diplomatic Conference hosted by the government of Norway in Oslo is a crucial step towards bringing this scourge to an end, and shows that humanity is not powerless in the face of destructive technologies. Governments and civil society, including the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, have proved that by working together they can make a real difference.

The treaty must now be signed and implemented. In addition, the international community must devote far greater attention to the long-term effort required to bring assistance to all the victims of mines and to achieve global mine clearance.

The ICRC and the International Federation would also like to pay tribute to the many other organizations and individuals that have contributed to the worldwide drive to end the suffering caused by landmines and to those countries that were instrumental in ensuring the success of the Ottawa process.

The ICRC will continue its efforts, together with its partners, to convince governments to adhere to the ban treaty to be signed in December in Ottawa, and will actively pursue the work undertaken with the International Federation and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on behalf of landmine victims.