Uganda: A schoolteacher with children from the Kasese District, close to the DRC border, has benefited from an education programme supported by Save The Children. Photo: Romain Staros StaropoliArmenia: A 106-year-old woman sits in front of her home guarding it with a rifle, in Degh village, near the southern city of Goris. Armed conflicts took place in and around nearby Nagarno-Karabakh, a disputed territory in Azerbaijan. Photo: UNAngola: Candre Antonio lost his leg when he stood on a mine which his father had planted near to their house. Photo: Sean Sutton/MAGIraq: 27 years old, pregnant, and a mother of three, Khanda Faraj Mohammed sustained severe burns on her neck, chest, stomach, arms and hands  when a car bomb exploded near her at a local market in Kirkuk. Photo: J.B. Russell/PanosAngola: Towns, hospitals, and schools bear the scars of the 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. The conflict devastated the country’s infrastructure and provoked a humanitarian disaster. Photo: J.B. Russell/PanosJamaica: A cemetery employee walks away from caskets for victims of clashes between Jamaican security forces and supporters of an alleged drug lord. Photo: Hans Deryk/ReutersGuatamala: For many young people in Central America, being a member of a youth gang—and often a life of violence —can be the only option available for survival. Photo: Sandra Sebastian/InterpeaceYemen: A boy waits in line for food at a refugee camp, having fled the ongoing fighting in the Sa’ada province. Photo: Paul StephensAfghanistan: 15-year-old Torpaikai, left, farewells Mahtab Malikzai, deputy manager at the Legal and Help Center in Jalalabad, which is supported by the UNDP Institutional Capacity Building for Gender Equality. Photo: Farzana Wahidy/UNDPGuatemala: With a mostly-absent mother and no father, Anastacia, 12, has to take care of her younger siblings. The Chocruz Clinic Building Project has assisted by offering them a community.  Photo: John Lindner/Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (Dessau) and Mirador e.V. (Leipzig), GermanyAfghanistan: Wahida Bahar, 22, at a carpet training session supported by the UNDP National Area-based Development Programme in Jalalabad. This programme empowers communities to increase livelihoods and stimulate rural development. Photo: Farzana Wahidy/UNDPLiberia: A swearing-in ceremony for graduates of the thirty-third class of officers of the Liberian National Police, including 104 female officers. Photo: Christopher Herwig/UNUSA: The United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York. Photo: Eskinder Debebe/UNKyrgyzstan: The violence that erupted in 2010 caused grave humanitarian consequences, including the separation of families. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Society assist people to stay in touch with loved ones, helping them to cope in crisis situations. Photo: Marko Kokic/ICRCLiberia: Peace Day Celebrations in Monrovia included a football match between the country’s top amputee football players.  Photo: Christopher Herwig/UNMILJordan: Having fled violence and destruction, Iraqi refugees living in Jordan now face isolation and uncertainty. The International Catholic Migration Commission serves and protects uprooted people – refugees, internal displaced persons, and migrants – regardless of faith, ethnicity, or nationality. Photo: Andres Morales/ICMCAfghanistan: Sara and her classmates study at the first girl’s school in Farza, Kabul. A UNDP-supported programme helps anti-government elements to renounce violence, and reintegrate and become a productive part of Afghan society. Photo: Farzana Wahidy/UNDPIraq: Bahdaj Abdul, 27, lost his right hand in a mine explosion. He now studies Economy at Basra University. Photo: UNDPIndonesia: Firearms handed over by rebels to officials during the final phase of weapons decommissioning were checked, recorded and destroyed at Kutacane, Aceh. Photo: James Robert FullerSudan: The presence of peacekeeping forces in West Darfur enable host governments, armed opposition groups, community and assistance partners to cooperate in achieving improvement in security and other conditions affecting civilians. Photo: J.G. Brouwer/UNAMID/T. MackinnonPhilippines: Children from Maluso, a fishing village in Basilan, pass a police sign warning of a five-month pre-election weapons ban. Photo: Lucian Read/Small Arms SurveyUganda: In Karamoja, mistrust between local communities and the police and military has led to violence and conflict for many years. Dialogue meetings and community safety committees have helped to build trust between local inhabitants and security providers, securing a safer environment as a basis for development. Photo: Mikkel Bo/DDGIraq: The irreparable damage left by  armed violence has lasting impact on human lives. Photo: UNDP IraqUnited States: Police patrol an earthquake-devastated California neighbourhood in an effort to control looting. Photo: StockbyteIraq: A beneficiary of the Local Area Development Programme fixes a television receiver in his shop in Chebayesh. Photo: Spacetoons/UNDP IraqLibya: During the conflict it was extremely difficult for family members to keep in touch.  The ICRC, with the support of the Libyan Red Crescent, transferred several hundred people who had been cut off from their relatives for months, enabling them to re-join their families. Photo: Robin Waudo/ICRCDRC: An AK-47 rifle is cut to render it irrecoverable having been removed from the Lubumbashi stockpile for destruction. In partnership with international donors, the DRC government has participated in programmes to reduce weapons proliferation by destroying unsecured and abandoned weapons. Photo: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu/MAGDRC: An ex Mai Mai combatant waits at a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) transit camp set up by the UN’s Stabilization Mission in the DRC (Monusco), before being reintegrated into society. Photo: Sylvain Liechti/MONUSCODRC: Police Under Commissioner Muyeba Lenge in his office in Kamina, Katanga province. Mines Advisory Group is collaborating with the government to store and safely destroy disused weapons and munitions stockpiles, as the police do not have the capacity or expertise to do so. Photo: J.B. Russell/Panos/MAGKosovo: Children play on destroyed abandoned tanks. Photo: Sean Sutton/MAGBrazil: City police officers interact with students during the school patrol. These patrols ensure more security in schools while improving the relationship between the police and the community.  Photo: Ireno Jardim/City of CanoasSouth Sudan: Former combatants receive policing and human rights training to support their community as police officers. Photo: J.G. Brouwer/UNDP South SudanBangladesh: Refugees at a camp on the Myanmar border – Reach Out To Asia Program. Photo: Romain Staros StaropoliBrazil: Luta Pela Paz (Fight for Peace) uses boxing and other martial arts as part of its education and personal development programme for the youth for crime- and violence-affected communities in the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Axel Griesch/Luta Pela PazJamaica: Yusuf Brown, 17, learnt photography in a programme to help youth discover alternatives to crime and violence. He says the Click programme, supported by the Violence Prevention Alliance Jamaica, has helped him move away from criminal gangs and pursue a career as a mechanic.  Photo: Yusuf Brown/ClickLaos: Local fishermen using boats fashioned from US fighter-bomber drop tanks. Photo: Sean Sutton/MAGSudan: A child collects bullets from the ground in Rounyn in North Darfur. Most of the population in Rounyn fled to camps for displaced people after violent clashes between government and opposition forces. Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMIDUSA: The bronze Knotted Gun Sculpture, by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, outside the United Nations headquarters in New York. Photo: UN PhotoUganda: Two Karamojong men arm wrestle as part of a conflict management training session run by the Danish Demining Group. Karamoja, in northern Uganda, has scarce resources and the local communities often resort to cattle raiding, resulting in a spiral of violent retributions. Photo: William Vest-Lillesøe/DDGSomalia: 74% of households in Somaliland possess at least one firearm. Safe storage devices—supplied and distributed by the Danish Demining Group — prevent accidents in the home, as well as theft, by enclosing the firing mechanism in a locked shell which is chained to the foundation of the house. Photo: Pete Muller/DDGCambodia: Cleared of landmines, Chisang village is now a much safer place for its inhabitants.  Photo: Sean Sutton/MAGDRC: A Community Liaison team from the local NGO Humanitas Ubangi, supported by the Mines Advisory Group, gives a mine risk education session to village children. Photo: J.B. Russell/Panos/MAGCambodia: Children are safe to play in a village finally cleared of mines. Photo: Sean Sutton/MAGSri Lanka: Having been displaced several times by war, and separated from her family since she was 13, in February 2012 16-year-old Manchula was reunited with her father. Photo: James MorganSomalia: A woman speaks out on the obstacles to peace, the future of her region, and what needs to be done next. In order to achieve lasting peace, Interpeace works with societies to promote inclusive dialogue.  Photo: Andrew McConnell/Panos for InterpeaceWe would like to thank all the civil society organizations, UN agencies, international organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions that submitted pictures for the exhibition. 

Visions of Hope

Seeing beyond violence, looking towards development  

Geneva, Switzerland   |   17 July — 31 August 2012

Forty-five photographs, selected from the 400+ pictures submitted by organizations and individuals, and were on display at Quai Wilson, on the Geneva lakefront during July and August 2012. The photographs illustrate the commitments of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, and statements from delegates and keynote speakers at the Geneva Declaration's 2nd Ministerial Review Conference, in October–November 2011.

We would like to warmly thank all the civil society organizations, UN agencies, international organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions that submitted pictures for the exhibition and made this project possible.

The exhibition was also showcased on the Global Journal website.

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development commits its signatories to address armed violence not only as a security issue but also from a social and economic perspective. The exhibition Visions of Hope illustrates the essence of this declaration with photographs contributed by organizations and individuals involved in violence prevention and reduction initiatives around the world.

Around 100 panels were on display along the lakefront in front of the Palais Wilson, headquarters of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the historic headquarters of the League of Nations. Each panel offered a glimpse of hope offered through armed violence reduction and development projects, undertaken through the work of non-governmental, intergovernmental and bilateral organizations around the world.

The exhibition was hosted by the Secretariat of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development and the United Nations Development Programme, with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the City of Geneva. We also worked in partnership with the Global Journal in Geneva, the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and the Cultural Activities Committee of the UN office in Geneva.