ITF Turns 20!
On Saturday, March 10, the Faces of ITF arrived in Ljubljana, Slovenia in order to commemorate the organization’s twenty-year anniversary. The anniversary included several formal events, but also opportunities for the guests to experience Slovenia and meet old friends.
On 11 March, a reception was held at the Presidential Palace, under the honorable patronage of His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia. The event and its guests honored ITF’s achievements and expressed unrelenting support for ITF and its work. It opened with a speech on the establishment of ITF by Dr. Boris Frlec. Being the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia at the time of ITF’s establishment, Dr. Frlec remained a staunch supporter of ITF through the two decades of its existence. Mr. Stanley Brown, Director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, addressed the importance of the longstanding partnership between the United States of America and ITF. USA remains ITF’s greatest donor, contributing over 216 million USD in donations over the past 20 years. ITF Director, Ambassador Tomaž Lovrenčič, expressed his gratitude to the Faces of ITF and also to all of those present in their combined efforts in combating unexploded ordnance of war. Finally, President Pahor addressed the inspiring work that ITF has done and reaffirmed Slovenia’s support of the organization. The event included a musical performance by three students, Nina Sirk, Katarina Samobor and Blaž Škrbec, from Konzervatorij za glasbo in balet Ljubljana.
At the event titled Evening with Faces of ITF in Hotel Slon on 12 March, the Faces were introduced by Mojca Mavec and talked about their personal stories and their involvement in mine action and the broader human security field. This was an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the individuals who have worked so diligently in order to realize an ambitious and noble goal of enhancing human security.
On behalf of ITF, Director Lovrenčič thanked everyone for being part of ITF's 20 years. As with any birthday party, the guests indulged in some cake.