The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced today that the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), was the 1997 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jody Williams, ICBL’s American coordinator, Williams said she would phone President Clinton and urge him to support ratification of the upcoming anti-landmine treaty. She argued that the U.S. is painting itself as a leader in clearing landmines. “How can you be a leader if you are not part of the process?”
Williams said she and the ICBL would share the $1 million prize. The ICBL began in 1992 and now comprises over 1,000 non-government organizations in nearly 60 countries. They campaign against anti-personnel landmines, which kill or maim an estimated 26,000 people a year. The award was seen by some as a way to encourage countries like the U.S., Russia, China, Iraq and Iran to agree to the anti-landmine treaty.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Bjorn Tore Gidal said the prize “is a major encouragement to work harder to gain the broadest possible support for the treaty. I appeal to all the countries of the world…to usher in a world without landmines.”