As the 20th International Meeting of National Mine Action Programme Directors and United Nations Advisors comes to a close today, the GICHD is looking back at the plenary sessions and side events which the Centre participated in.
Mine Action as a Confidence Building Measure in Reconciliation and Peace Processes
GICHD Director Stefano Toscano emphasized the need for closer links between mine action and peace mediation. "Closer links between mine action and peace mediation are also beneficial to mine action itself. In fact, an explicit choice of using it as a confidence-building measure in the context of a peace process gives the opportunity to raise awareness about the problems of contamination, to provide a framework for operations in the context of a conflict and, in some instances, to anchor mine action to a peace agreement" he said.
IEDs and the Challenges for Humanitarian Mine Action
GICHD presented and discussed the findings of a study into Mine Action and Improvised Explosive Devises. This study focuses primarily on improvised devices that are currently encountered by Mine Action organisations during humanitarian operations. Present in this discussion was the Mines Advisory Group and Halo Trust who discussed the challenges caused by IEDs in different countries.
Mine Action as an "Accelerator" Towards the SDGs
Together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the GICHD is currently undertaking a study that seeks to reflect the current understanding of the contribution and impact that mine action could have on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in countries affected by landmines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war. During the discussion on Mine Action as an "Accelerator" Towards the SDGs, the GICHD released the early results and preliminary recommendations of the study.
Mine Action Innovations (Methodologies and Technologies)
GICHD head of Information Management Olivier Cottray presented the new IMSMA Core, a part of the IMSMA evolution, which is still in development. Using Esri technology, this new system will be the national storage and data validation component of the information management process.
Mr. Cottray also reflected on the success of last year's Mine Action Technology Workshop which brought together humanitarian mine action operators, industry innovators, experts and developers to discuss the latest innovations, challenges, concerns and opportunities in the field.
20 years of Mine Action
GICHD Director of operations Guy Rhodes shared his sentiments on Mine Action. “The constitution of the mine action community is testament to international cooperation and purpose. It is a community of spirit, of comradery, of human kindship. Whether our own journey in the sector has been a long or short one it has been for all of us a journey rich in learning and of understanding.” He concluded.
In a separate event organised by UNMAS and GICHD, participants looked back at the last 20 years of International Mine Action Standards. Mikael Bold, GICHD Advisor on Standards, Compliance and Legal Efficiency, discussed the evolution of IMAS and emphasized on their importance.
All in all, the 2017 annual International Meeting of National Mine Action Programme Directors and United Nations Advisors has been insightful and successful and the GICHD is looking forward to continuing the discussion on the various topics with its partners and stakeholders.