Today, December 10th, is International Human Rights Day. In Oslo, Norway, activist Jody Williams and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for their remarkable efforts against war and the weapons of war. Earlier this month, 122 countries gathered in Vancouver, Canada, to sign a treaty banning landmines. Notably absent from the signatories was the United States.
Jody Williams, who comes from Putney, Vermont, is the coordinator of the International Campaign, which has 1,000 member organizations in 60 countries. At a news conference yesterday, she said the campaign’s goals are clear: pressuring holdout nations to sign the treaty and persuading at least 40 countries to take the next step and ratify it, which the treaty needs to become binding.
The Nobel Peace Prize is always presented on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, whose will established the prizes. The other prizes are given in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Jody Williams, the coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines speaking at the National Press Club in Washington DC last month.