The GICHD is happy to announce the receipt of a contribution in the amount of USD 1 million from the Government of Mexico to support the extension and deepening of the ongoing Centre’s mine action work in Colombia over the next three years. This important financial contribution is the result of a pledge made by the President of Mexico, H.E. Enrique Peña Nieto, during the signing ceremony of the Peace accord in Colombia in 2016. After more than three years of negotiations, the Colombian government and FARC-EP agreed to a ceasefire on 23 June, 2016 and signed the “Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Long Lasting Peace” in November of the same year. This peace agreement strengthens the work of the Colombian directorate for Comprehensive Mine Action, DAICMA, which coordinates all joint efforts by civilian demining organizations, military forces and other partners. It prioritizes as well the municipalities becoming newly accessible for humanitarian demining, thus providing those populations with an immediate peace dividend. Under the Government–FARC-EP peace accord, demining will represent a pre-requisite for planned post-conflict rural development and provide an occupation to demobilised combatants.
Colombia deeply values the contribution by Mexico as it will pave the way to DAICMA's better undertaking of a comprehensive mine action, including mine risk education and victim assistance. As a result of over five decades of civil war, Colombia suffers from widespread contamination by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), making it one of the most heavily contaminated states. Since 1990, over 11,400 people have been killed or maimed by landmines in Colombia.
(Top Photo: GICHD Director Ambassador Stefano Toscano (right) meeting with the Permanent Representative of Mexico in Geneva, His Excellency Mr. Jorge Lomónaco, (left) and the Permanent Representative of Colombia, Her Excellency Ms. Beatriz Londoño Soto (centre), to formally thank the Mexican Government for its contribution.)