Landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) pose a serious hazard to the lives and livelihoods of the people living in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region. Effective communication is an essential element for reaching out to the people affected by these hazards and to various sectors of the mine action community.
The GICHD has initiated, together with the affected states and regional organisations, an outreach programme covering the EECCA region. According to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, there are 15 countries that use Russian as an official and/or a de-facto working language and that are affected by mines and ERW in this region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. It is hoped that all these countries will become involved in the EECCA programme.
The three goals of the EECCA Outreach Programme for mine/ERW action are to:
- promote the safe and efficient implementation of mine/ERW action projects and programmes
- enhance regional co-operation through information and experience sharing
- promote the best mine/ERW action practices throughout the region
The outreach programme will assist national authorities and their staff members to build capacities in relevant areas by giving them access to material, training and advisory services in their own language. Additionally, it will benefit military and civilian personnel who are engaged in mine action, who are part of UN peace-keeping operations, or who carry out other international humanitarian assistance and development co-operation activities by providing them with guidance on the effective implementation of mine action programmes.
The EECCA Outreach Programme’s main activities include but are not limited to the following:
- organising mine action trainings, workshops and conferences in Russian
- facilitating regional and international exchanges
- mobilising local and regional Russian-speaking expertise
- translating international standards and major mine action publications into Russian
- launching a website in Russian