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Assisting Landmines Survivors | A Decade of Efforts | 12 February 2007 | Vienna

A symposium marking the 10th Anniversary of the Vienna Meeting on the Convention for the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines

Monday 12 February 2007

Austrian Defence Academy, Vienna

Opening of the symposium

Symposium moderator: H.E. Wolfgang Petritsch, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations (Geneva) and President of the 2004 Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World PDF 10KB

  • H.E. Dr. Hans Winkler, Austrian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs PDF 25KB
  • General Raimund Schittenhelm, Commander of the Austrian Defense Academy PDF 13KB
  • H.E. Caroline Millar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations in Geneva and President of the AP Mine Ban Convention PDF 20KB
  • Margaret Arach Orech, Ambassador of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (Uganda) PDF 20KB

Panel I. The challenge of Victim Assistance – understanding its context and extent

Moderator: Thomas Hajnoczi, Director for International Security Policy Programmes, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Austria)

  • Kerry Brinkert, Manager of the AP Mine Convention Implementation Support Unit, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (Geneva) PDF 36KB
  • Dr. Dinesh Sethi, World Health Organization PDF 15KB
  • Katleen Maes, Victim Assistance Thematic Coordinator, Landmine Monitor (Belgium) PDF 25KB

Panel II: Economic reintegration

Moderator: Sheree Bailey, Victim Assistance Specialist, AP Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (Geneva) PDF 12KB

  • Pia Korpinen, International Labour Office (Geneva) PDF 25KB
  • Dr. Veri Dogjani, Victim Assistance Officer, Albanian Mine Action Executive (Albania) PDF 9KB
  • Alberto Cairo, Head of the Orthopaedic Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross (Afghanistan) PDF 17KB

Panel III: Psychological support and social reintegration

Moderator: Gustavo Laurie, Liaison Officer, United Nations Mine Action Service (Geneva)

  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Juen, Head of Psychosocial Support, Austrian Red Cross (Austria)
  • Dr. Amira Tais, Medical Coordinator, HOPE 87 (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Dr. Ken Rutherford, Co-Founder of the Landmine Survivors Network (USA)

Panel IV: Legislation and policy framework

Moderator: Markus Reiterer, Deputy Permanent Representative of Austria to the Conference on Disarmament and Co-Chair of the AP Mine Ban Convention’s Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration PDF 12KB

  • Simon Walker, Advisor, Human Rights and Disability, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Geneva) PDF 17KB
  • Dr. Kirsten Young, Director of Advocacy and Rights, Landmine Survivors Network (Geneva) PDF 28KB
  • Margaret Arach Orech, Ambassador of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (Uganda) PDF 29KB

Concluding remarks

  • Susan B. Walker PDF 17KB
  • H.E. Wolfgang Petritsch


  • The Vienna Symposium Brochure PDF 2MB

On 12 February 2007, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik, pictured here with Margaret Arach Orech on her right and Ken Rutherford on her left, welcomed the world to Vienna for a symposium intended to review 10 years of efforts in assisting landmine survivors.

This symposium took place exactly 10 years after Vienna convened the Experts Meeting on the Text of a Total Ban Convention. This had been the first significant event of the Ottawa Process, the aim of which was to negotiate a Convention to ban anti-personnel mines by the end of 1997.

In the pursuit of this aim, Austria took on the lead role of elaborating a draft text. The February 1997 Experts Meeting was designed to elicit comments on a first draft text and to intensify efforts towards a total ban on anti-personnel mines.

Neither the text of the draft Convention discussed in Vienna in February 1997 nor two subsequent drafts contained measures to assist landmine survivors. Ultimately, though, the text of the Convention adopted on 18 September 1997 contained the obligation of “States Parties in a position to do so” to “provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims….” This was a significant achievement for those desiring a truly comprehensive approach to the problems caused by anti-personnel mines. Moreover, this measure resulted in the Convention becoming the first multilateral arms control agreement to address the humanitarian needs of the victims of a particular weapon system.