27 November 2013

(Paris-27 November): , Sylvie Brigot-Vilain, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC), was presented with the French Legion of Honor award yesterday. The order, established in 1802, is the highest decoration in France and was created specifically to recognize contributions by civilians, as well as military.

“The Legion of Honor award is for me a recognition of the crucial role civil society has played in calling the world’s attention to the unacceptable harm caused by landmines and cluster munitions, which were banned through a very effective partnership between civil society and governments. It is also an incentive to broaden civilian protection from other indiscriminate weapon threats including nuclear arms, incendiary bombs and killer robots”, Brigot Vilain said in accepting the award.Christiane Taubira, France’s first parliamentarian to propose legislation calling for a total ban on antipersonnel landmines, in 1995, presented the award during a ceremony yesterday in Paris. In presenting the award Taubira, now the French Minister of Justice, noted "You fight for a fairer and more fraternal world to make the voice of the victims heard. I commend you for your actions and those of all humanitarian disarmament activists in the fight against landmines and cluster munitions as well as your work overall to ensure the protection of civilians against weapons which strike indiscriminately.

”Over the past two decades, Ms. Brigot-Vilain has been an outspoken advocate for the protection of civilians against indiscriminate weapons including active involvement promoting the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which provided groundbreaking provisions for assistance to victims. After working with the campaign to ban landmines in her country, France, with Handicap International, Brigot-Vilain joined the Nobel Prize winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in 2001, and was named Executive Director in 2006. In 2011, the organization merged with the Cluster Munition Coalition to become ICBL-CMC.

The award ceremony for Brigot-Vilain took place two days before the release of the Landmine Monitor 2013 report, and one week prior to the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva, Switzerland.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines - Cluster Munition Coaliton is the authoritative civil society voice on the issues of landmines and cluster muntions. The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, the research arm of ICBL-CMC is the de facto monitoring regime for the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions.