A. Standards and criteria
B. Measures of impact and benefit
Brief presentations were given by UNDP, GICHD, the Survey Action Centre (SAC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
UNDP and GICHD reported on the evolution and status of the "Socio-economic Analysis" study and on experience with earlier studies from Afghanistan and Cambodia. The study is in the final phase and will consist of two parts: an analytical section and an operational handbook. The first version of the handbook will be available in February 2001 and will be an important tool for all programme managers.
SAC outlined the importance of a Level-I Survey for the planning and coordination of work in the country programmes. The status of work in the various countries was described in depth. The benefit of this study for the various stakeholders was established.
Using the Southern Africa region as an example, IDRC described the development of a new Integrated Mine Action Development Strategy and outlined the importance of data processing in this field.
Discussion: The need to translate the handbook on the study into different languages was emphasized by some states. UNDP requested financial support for this either via the Voluntary Trust Fund or on a bilateral basis.
The discussion on the Level-I Survey looked at the possible role to be played by regional organizations in implementing assessment missions. The OAS briefly outlined its possibilities for providing support. UNICEF emphasized that the bottom-up flow of information is of great significance for setting expedient priorities and for involving the local level.
The real benefit and the real possibilities for application with comprehensive reliance on data processing in a number of affected countries were analyzed.
Points for action
Brief presentations were given by ICBL, UNMAS, UNDP, OAS and MAG.
ICBL described the status of work on Landmine Monitor 2001 and its relevance for mine action. It was announced that the 3rd Report on the Global Mine Situation would be published at the 3rd Conference of States in Managua in 2001. The methods used to draw up the country reports, the funding situation and the possibility of accessing the reports on the Internet were discussed.
UNMAS reported on the status of the implementation and further development of the IMSMA data management system as an important tool in practice.
UNMAS and UNDP explained the procedures and possibilities for the worldwide coordination of mine action programmes both within the UN system and in cooperation with other organizations and national agencies.
Using the example of Central America, the OAS described the possibilities for coordination within a regional organization.
Discussion: Various sides emphasized the close incorporation of all mine clearance programmes into a country's general reconstruction and also the close cooperation with local bodies. It was also suggested that the significance of mine clearance as a peacekeeping/building element in post-conflict situations should be given more detailed consideration.
The benefits of the data information system IMSMA which has been introduced were acknowledged. However, various weak points were also mentioned:
- lack of possibilities for changes by the end-user
UNMAS announced that a revised version is to be presented in May 2001.
Points for action:
The SC encouraged all stakeholders to continue develloping their tools. All stakeholders are requested to pass on all available information to allow regular updates.
D. Planning and prioritization
ICBL, SAC, the Yemen Mine Action Program, UNDP and UNMAS gave brief presentations on the Landmine Impact Survey, the development of a national programme taking Yemen as a good experience, and transparency in financing.
The presentation on the Landmine Impact Survey in Yemen demonstrated convincingly the benefits for planning and drawing up a national programme which can be achieved with adequate foundations. The realistic work plan of the Yemen Mine Action Program is focussed on the areas of high social and economic impact. A specific technical problem - the movement of sand - prevents the clearance of minefields in the region of Aden.
The question of the extent to which mine clearance is possible, affordable and necessary in a country was aired. There was discussion on whether 100% clearance is feasible. The term "mine impact free" as an alternative to "mine free" was mentioned in this connection and it was proposed that this be discussed in greater depth.
The role of the UNMAS Database for Mine Action Investments as an effective instrument for coordination amongst the various donors was emphasized and it was requested that the states continually update the data. Only an up-to-date, fully informative database can provide the information needed for coordination among the donor countries. The Portfolio on Mine Action Projects offers useful information on ongoing and planned UN projects. ICBL presented the Compendium Document (compilation of NGO projects) as an additional source of information.
All information is also available on website.
Discussion: There is a need for further discussion of the extent to which mine clearance in a country is possible and reasonable and of the links with obligations under the Ottawa Convention.
The practical benefit of the databases and of fundamental information on ongoing and planned programmes was emphasized by various sides. The prerequisite is, however, that all data are made available. An electronic link between information in the UN files and that in the NGO database was regarded as sensible.
The procedure for the implementation of emergency aid in Afghanistan (UNOCHA) was given as an example of transparency and effectiveness and it was requested that possibilities for transferring it to mine action programmes in other countries be examined.
Points for action:
E. National capacity building
UNDP and ICBL gave brief presentations on management training and Finland reported on a specific contribution to mine clearance.
The status of the Cranfield University Management Training Programme, the course material, target groups, experience gained with completed courses, planned courses and criteria for participation were presented in detail. META reported on experience of indigenous capacity building.
Discussion: The UNDP/Cranfield University Management Course was praised and recommended as an important step forward for higher-level national capacity building. The course material will be published early in 2001. There was a consensus view that national capacity building is the prerequisite for the success of any mine action programme and further discussion is needed for how to improve the capacity of national programmes.
F. Technologies for mine action
The Integrated Test and Evaluation Programme (ITEP), the status of the UNMAS/GICHD study on the use of dogs, technology trends and a new French mine detector were presented in brief.
The status, structure, goals and planning of ITEP were outlined. Following the signing of the MoU on 17 July 2000 the programme began work and has obtained first results with a detector test. Further states are invited to participate.
Initial results have been obtained from the GICHD study on the use of mine detection dogs. The final results are expected in mid-2001. Provisional standards for the use of dogs have been included in the new international standards. Although the use of dogs has proven its worth in several programmes, there are no clear scientific findings. In order to make improvements in this area, a further-reaching study is needed on the dogs' way of working.
Basic timetables for the development of equipment, particular difficulties (e.g. adequate map material) and the absolute necessity of effective test procedures were presented in the Belgian Royal Military Academy's contribution.
Discussion: Several sides emphasized the need for close links between scientists and end-users so as to achieve workable results. There are differing views on the use of live mines in tests. In contrast, there was universal recognition of the great importance of test procedures in keeping with reality and practice. An improved exchange of test results was regarded as very desirable. Altogether there was agreement that the subject of technology must be considered more intensively at future meetings.
Points for action: