02 December 2010

Press Release -- For Immediate Release

Monaco, 2 December 2010 -- The international organization Peace and Sport, under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco, has granted the 2010 Sports Event for Peace award to the wheelchair rugby exhibition match Rumble in Cartagena, held at the 2009 Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World. The summit was a landmark event where over 1,000 delegates from governments and civil society gathered together to evaluate a decade of progress in implementing the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

"By harnessing the power of athletes with disabilities, the event demonstrated that ability can replace adversity and triumph can overcome tragedy," said Juan Pablo Salazar from Fundación Arcangeles, co-organizer of the event, which brought together disabled athletes from the United States and Colombia, including survivors of mines and other explosive remnants of war, to face each other in a heroic display of peace and solidarity. Co-hosted by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Cluster Munition Coalition, Survivor Corps, Fundación Arcangeles and the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation, the Rumble in Cartagena event held on 2 December 2009 marked the anniversary of the signature of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, as well as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The raucous and heartwarming evening event attended by Summit delegates from throughout the world wove a wheelchair rugby match with words by key figures in promoting assistance to landmine and cluster munition survivors, and the rights of persons with disabilities. Guests including then-Vice-President Francisco Santos of Colombia and Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan had a chance to have a hands-on experience with quad rugby when they joined the second part of the match.

"Hundreds of thousands of survivors of mines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war are living in the world today and have a right to comprehensive assistance to allow them to be fully included into their societies," explained Firoz Ali Alizada, victim assistance specialist for the Cluster Munition Coalition and International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and a landmine survivor himself. "Assistance doesn't end with provision of crutches or wheelchairs. Social inclusion is also crucial for survivors and other persons with disabilities to be able to fully participate in their communities."

The Peace and Sports Awards recognize sport initiatives and individuals who contribute to peace and social stability in the world, in areas that have been made vulnerable due to poverty, the aftermath of conflict or lack of social cohesion. The Gala Evening of the Peace and Sport International Forum is host to the awards ceremony. It was held on 2 December 2010 at the prestigious Salle des Etoiles in Monaco. Peace and Sports was founded in 2007 by modern pentathlon Olympic medallist and world champion Joel Bouzou, who is the current President of the organization. The organization promotes the practice of structured sport and sporting values to educate young generations and help foster social stability, reconciliation and dialogue between communities.

The Rumble in Cartagena's organizers would like to express thanks to the Peace and Sports Awards for bringing attention to the rights and needs of survivors of mines, cluster munitions and of other persons with disabilities by honoring Rumble in Cartagena with this award, on the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2010.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact: In Geneva, Amelie Chayer (French, English): +41-78-728-5320; or +33-6-89-55-12-81; or media@icbl.org - In Spain, Conor Fortune (English, Spanish): +44-7515575174; or conor@stopclustermunitions.org - Cluster Munition Coalition: www.stopclustermunitions.org - Fundación Arcangeles: www.arcangeles.org - International Campaign to Ban Landmines: www.icbl.org - Survivor Corps: www.survivorcorps.org