Geneva, Switzerland, 9 November 2009 – JUANES, the Colombian music superstar, has announced he will lend his voice to the world summit against anti-personnel mines which will take place in Colombia. Juanes, a 17-time Grammy Award Winner, founder of the Mi Sangre Foundation, and mine eradication activist said he is proud to support The Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World. “Cartagena represents a commitment by countries to taking action against the challenges that remain towards achieving a mine-free world and to ending the suffering caused by landmines in Colombia and elsewhere,” Juanes stated.
At the summit, Juanes will convene a town-hall meeting, or Conversatorio as it is being called in Spanish. The meeting will be an opportunity to give voice to mine-affected communities in Colombia. Participants in the 3 December meeting will include survivors, non-governmental organisations, and representatives of the Colombian government and of the international community.
In 2006 Juanes became the first artist ever to perform in the debating chamber of the European Parliament as part of the European Union campaign to eradicate landmines.
“In 2006, I sang about my convictions, and today I am proud to help raise the voices of landmine survivors attending The Cartagena Summit. They need to be heard, and Cartagena is the perfect venue for it,” said Juanes noting that heads of States and other world leaders will be in Colombia to decide the future of the fight against landmines. “The voices of the survivors need to be heard loud and clear, their echo should resonate around the world,” said Juanes.
“Juanes’ participation highlights the global shared commitment to landmine eradication and the fact that this is a topic that concerns us all, not just representatives of Governments, but every citizen of the world,” said the Cartagena Summit President, Ambassador Susan Eckey of Norway.
“The Cartagena Summit is the vehicle for all nations to reaffirm their commitment to the eradication of anti-personnel mines worldwide,” stated Colombian Vice President, Francisco Santos Calderon, who is leading the fight against landmines in his country and who will host thousands of delegates in Cartagena. “These weapons represent a permanent threat to the exercise of people’s basic rights, and a fundamental barrier to communities’ economic and social development,” said Santos.
The Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World is the name given to the Second Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which entered into force ten years ago. The AP Mine Ban Convention seeks to eradicate the use of anti-personnel mines and to end the suffering caused to victims. States that join are required to never use landmines again and to provide assistance to the survivors. 156 States are party to the Convention.
Over 1,000 participants including heads of States and Governments are expected to attend the summit in Colombia.