The 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winning work of Manchester charity Mines Advisory Group (MAG) has never been more relevant in the effort to rid the world of conflict, their CEO told MM.
At a reception to honour the 20-year anniversary of the group’s achievement – MAG receiving the award after years of hard work led to the Ottawa Treaty being signed by 122 countries to officially ban landmines – MAG CEO and spokesperson Dr Jane Cocking led the tributes.
“MAG’s work for those affected by conflicts has never been more important than it is now,” she said.
“I have been a great admirer of MAG for many years and it is a privilege to lead the next stage of MAG’s development and growth. We shall continue to carry on its achievements.
“Dialogue and building trust with communities is a key responsibility of humanitarian clearance teams. It is integral to MAG’s humanitarian operations.”
Around 60million people worldwide were threatened by the devices in the 90s and the situation – though far from resolved – has improved a great deal.
“Since the signing of the Ottawa Treaty, the trade of landmines and productivity in some war-torn countries has stopped,” she added.
“Without the signing they would continue to build these deadly weapons on a heavy scale.”
Manchester Lord Mayor, Councillor Eddy Newman, declared the city a nuclear free zone in 1980 and spoke enthusiastically about the only Manchester-based recipient of the peace prize.
“Their award provided deserved recognition for their work at the forefront of prohibiting the use of anti-personnel mines and removing abandoned explosive devices from communities around the world,” he said.
“Landmines kill discriminately including women – and especially children who view them as toys.”
Representative for Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) Eleanor Davey, a MAG supporter, clarified the importance of Manchester’s influence with other countries getting involved with the organisation.
“Manchester shows other countries the importance to get involved and influence governments worldwide,” she said.
Among the representatives at the reception was football legend Sir Bobby Charlton, celebrating his 80th birthday.
“I’m proud to be associated with this charity and their recognition is well deserved,” said the former Manchester United and England great.
Image courtesy of MAG via YouTube, with thanks.