05 January 2009

Cluster Munition Coalition announced as recipients of 2008 Tipperary International Peace Award

Tipperary Peace Award Recipients Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and US Senator George Mitchell (Photos: Tipperary Peace Convention)Tipperary Peace Convention has made the announcement on World Day of Peace (January 1st) that the 2008 Tipperary International Peace Prize is to be awarded to the Cluster Munition Coalition, in recognition of their campaign to outlaw the use of cluster bombs. "Cluster bombs have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and continue to do so today. They cause widespread harm on impact and are also responsible for killing and injuring civilians long after a conflict has ended. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children. They caused more civilian casualties in Iraq in 2003 and Kosovo in 1999, than any other weapon system, and they stand out as the weapon that poses the gravest dangers to civilians since antipersonnel mines. In the year following the ceasefire in Lebanon there were more than 200 civilian casualties attributed to cluster munitions and this served as the catalyst that propelled governments to attempt to secure a legally-binding international instrument tackling cluster munitions".Tipperary Peace Convention is pleased to honour the work of the Coalition and its campaign against cluster bombs, which is certain to save thousands and thousands of civilian lives for decades to come. The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is a global network of over 250 civil society organisations working in 70 countries to end the harm caused by cluster bombs.2008 has been a particularly momentous year for the Coalition with the Convention on Cluster Munitions being adopted by 107 states in Dublin in May and 94 states signing the Convention during the Signing Conference in Oslo in December. The Convention is now open for all states to sign at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.The next steps in the implementation process are signing and ratification by future states parties, entry into force and the first meeting of states parties.In announcing the Peace Prize recipient for 2008, Tipperary Peace Convention urges all states to sign and ratify the Convention without delay, and looks forward to its rapid entry into force.The Tipperary International Peace Award will be presented at a special ceremony in Tipperary, Ireland on May 1st, 2009, which will mark 25 years of the Tipperary Peace Award.Previous Award recipients include; Presidents, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton, The late Senator Gordon Wilson, Live-Aid organiser Bob Geldof, Norwegians Mona Juul & Terje Larsen, US Senator George Mitchell, John O'Shea of GOAL, Archbishop Robin Eames and former Prime Ministers, the late Rafic Hariri of Lebanon and the late Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.http://www.tipperarypeace.ie/