The Broken Chair is the work of renowned sculptor Daniel Berset in 1997 at the request of Handicap International. It stands 39-feet tall at the Place des Nations, in front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. It's original message was simple: to call for a ban on antipersonnel landmines and encourage States to commit themselves to the prohibition of cluster munitions by signing the Mine Ban Treaty.
In April 2016, Handicap International decided to give the artwork’s presence a new meaning. The Broken Chair now embodies:
- The desperate but dignified cry of the civilian populations butchered by all kinds of armed violence, and the States’ obligation to protect them and rescue the victims;
- The fierce ambition – which must mobilize policy makers and citizens – to accompany the persons, families and communities that are scarred, weakened or destabilized by conflicts, so that they can regain the autonomy to which they are entitled.
The Broken Chair sculpture symbolizes both fragility and strength, imbalance and stability, violence, and dignity. Its presence in the Place des Nations allows everyone to develop a personal reflection about their responsibility to refuse the unacceptable, and to act. It stands in delicate balance on three legs – the fourth having been violently blown off as if by an explosive charge. A way of showing that even mutilated, victims of war violence are still standing tall, with dignity.
The first action of HI global ambassador, Neymar Jr. stood on top of the Broken Chair in Geneva to call for more inclusion of people with disabilities in society. More on that here!
More on the Mine Ban Treaty
More than 80% of the world's countries are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, which bans the use, production, and transfer of antipersonnel landmines. Sadly, the Obama Administration chose not to bring the U.S. closer to joining the Mine Ban Treaty in President Obama's final year in office.
However, the U.S. remains the world's leading supporter of conventional weapons destruction, spending more than $2.6 billion in nearly 100 countries since 1993. Handicap International continues to work closely with the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines.
We need your help to ensure that President Trump submits the Mine Ban Treaty to the Senate. Sign the petition now!