"The EU and its Member States have a long history of support to mine action benefiting nearly all heavily mine-affected countries and regions of the world", said EU Ambassador Walter Stevens on a panel on "Mine Action Vision: Forging the Future Together", thanking UNMAS Director Agnès Marcaillou who moderated the discussion and welcoming the opportunity to take part in this panel on the future of mine action.
Jointly with him on the panel spoke Sachi Claringbould, Deputy Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Kingdom of the Netherlands as well as Brigadier General Ziad Nasr, Director of the Lebanon Mine Action Centre and Colonel Ncube Mkhulili Bhika, Director of the Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre, discussing best practice and lessons learned from the development and implementation of new mine action strategies in an attempt foster greater partnership within the sector by identifying shared visions and goals.
"EU assistance covers the whole scope of mine action", said EU Ambassador Stevens. "Land release, stockpile destruction, victim assistance, risk education, advocacy, capacity building and research and development for mine detection and clearance technology and equipment." The EU also supports affected states to set up or update national mine action strategies and operational clearance plans, in cooperation and partnership with the UN, the secretariat of the Mine Ban Convention and other donors and actors.
The EU and its Member States have a long history of support to mine action benefiting nearly all heavily mine-affected countries and regions of the world. The EU is one of the world's top donors for mine action. "With all 28 EU Member States Party to the Mine Ban Convention, the EU is also a top supporter for the implementation and universalisation of this convention", confirmed EU Ambassador Stevens.
The EU is the world's top two mine action donor. Together with Member States, the EU gave 600 million EUR to mine action between 2012 and 2016, with UNMAS and UNDP being the EU's most important mine action implementer.
"I want to use this opportunity to underline the commitment of the EU to mine action and to the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention", said EU Ambassador Stevens."The Mine Ban Convention is an example of what the EU wants to stand for in international relations: a rules-based international order, rooted in respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law." The EU's maintained and increased efforts in the field of mine action are an important part of this effort.
The panel was part of the International Meeting of Mine Action Directors and UN Advisers, the annual meeting of mine action stakeholders. The agenda this year includes the launch of the UN Mine Action Strategy 2019-2023, the inclusion and empowerment of youth and women and the role of mine action in preventing humanitarian crises and building peace.