This annual meeting was closed today following final remarks from GICHD Director, Stefano Toscano and UNMAS Director, Agnes Marcaillou.
In his remarks to delegates, Ambsassador Toscano highlighted two major themes from the week's proceedings. First, he stated, is the challenge the mine action sector is facing in response to "pressing humanitarians in needs in the context of protracted crises, such as in Syria, Iraq and Yemen." This multidimensional challenge encompasses a large range of issues from access to safety and security, and types of contamination to shifting lines of control. In spite of these challenges, Ambassador Toscano highlighted the "impressive work mine action actors are delivering now and already, under more difficult circumstances."
Second, Ambassador Toscano noted the strength of innovation in the mine action sector. During the conference, many new technical innovations were discussed, including unmanned aerial systems for mapping, the development of new GPS systems for land release through mine detection dogs, and the use of mobile technology.
As the Meeting concluded, delegates were called upon by both Ambassador Toscano and Director Marcaillou to take home these strong messages and to keep them alive, especially in preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in May this year.