23rd International Meeting of National Mine Action

UN News


So here we are at the urine stool in Geneva and we are speaking about the twenty thousand International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors and United Nations advisors so basically basically unmastered say the United Nations Mine Action Service in addition to Sarah Jerry. He's a researcher. From King's College in London has been looking at research approach into on the link between climate change and vulnerable populations affected by unexploded ordinance stuck in the ground and elsewhere. Welcome everybody body. I'm going to just dive in quickly. Going to Richard Baltimore's Program Manager for South Sudan with unmasks wretched. Tell me the main thrust of the meeting being here at the United Nations in Geneva what you can to achieve this week well simply putting the importance of mine action back on the map. Reminding people there's a problem exists exists around the world that is being addressed but it needs constant support to keep his going a mine-free world is achievable. We simply need to keep doing what we're doing. Just talk me through what the process. Who says you go into a community in south Sudan? Can you give me a particular example of an area is cleared recently. How you've held community? We're helping hundreds of communities Aziz every single day we're going into villages where mines were laid possibly thirty or forty years ago wet forests have grown up around them. People wonder into those forests in search of natural resources to cut wood together the forest vegetables and plan selves up working to render the ground safe and the the the reality is the poorest of the poor go into minefields knowing they all taking a risk. Studying Cambodia showed eighty five percent of mine victims victims. New they're in a minefield at the time. They had their accident but they also knew they were going to be hungry at night. So they take the wrist to go and get it and not not. de-mining is not an option. People will still take the risk and go into the minefields. We need clear those minds to make the land safe. Just start with a level playing field being out to grow awesome food. It is astonishing it comes down to having to live from day to day and Edwin fake money. If I can come to you know you were in Cambodia. Do you share richards. Experience experience. There is that what you were finding radio program officer unless now but you were working for a long time with U. N. D. P. The UN Development Program. Yes you actually see that people take risks risks. When they're hungry they will try to the forest to find food if they have piece of land contaminated? They will try to farm it so that they can grow the rice. It's basically subsistence isn't farming for everything there. And if they contact us the land and they will take measures to go in and see if they can actually get food. What's your message to the conference? Is this week. There is a need for us to address this theory's hope for example specifically for Kamalia. Two hundred twenty five is a goal for them. It can be achieved there to clear. All of known remaining landmines by twenty twenty-five how many we talking about. It's there still about nine hundred square kilometers of land mines but it was like a lot. I mean look look and you say twenty. twenty-five it is a lot but the government has actually committed themselves. You know Wait I left Komodo last year. They committed themselves that they will give ten percents counterpart funding to any international funds. Subtle coming for Mine Action and you be assumed that in the sense that last year we got ten percent of those about about two hundred thousand dollars last year from the Komo government which is a first big step for them taking responsibility for the problem that they have so there is progress and hopefully by two thousand twenty five and quickly back to Richard. You said that South Sudan continues to be contaminated by mines laid out decades ago but their goal is twenty twenty. He's seven four title Clearance Twenty Twenty Six if the current peace can hold if we can get access to all areas then. It's reasonable with current levels of funding as long as that maintained that we we will complete clearance by Twenty Twenty Six but ordinance will continue to appear for decades. There is still ordinance turning up across Western Europe that was fought over a hundred two years ago. Being ploughed up in the fields of Belgium reality of any conflict affected country but in the short term you need sustained funding to help South Sudan Dan. As many other countries need to decontaminate. You cannot come quickly to use Aruna Jerry from King's College London research only be looking at the link between climate the change and unexploded ordinance or nine months contamination. Can you tell me a bit about what you felt. I've been looking specifically at the conflict context. I've been looking at mine. Action in how they interrelate from post conflict peacebuilding framework and the climate. He's something that I've come into recently looking at how that is adding the levels. Abelson wonder ability because I was in Angola in September doing some work where they went national saint for Humanitarian De Mining on a research project. Nick and what we saw there was that once fields are cleared that the farmers there are grateful because clear and provide quite a lot of land. And what they're doing is resorting to the cotton slash methods of cultivation now. What that does the environment is? Just at the the time the fires in the Amazon on but in Angola there was second highest fires when the satellite team. It is dance so while we can clear and and the farmers were saying yes but the drought has impacted so yes. The farm has been returned to the farmers. But there are other you know beyond the mine in action and my take into that is can we incorporate as a sector. Can we bringing other lessons for these people when we out there with them saying once we've cleared the farm may be a certain sense of responsibility in the ways. We cultivate and all so integrating being innovative in our practice to dealing with communities to reduce their ability interesting. So what you're calling for really is for broader approach to helping communities once the areas made safe. So I don't know maybe I could turn to you. Seddon Threat Mitigation Officer with the Mine Action Service so he didn't a lot of work into be at the moment. I don't know how house access you have there. Because we've had talks recently here in Geneva for ongoing between opposing parties fighting outside Tripoli to the South how are you UH helping communities get safer and be free of this sort of scourge that must induce mentality among populations yes. There are two real issues to addressed. ICED firstly is that Libya has the world's largest uncontrolled ammunition stop palm. It is estimated that there were between one hundred fifty thousand two hundred thousand tonnes of uncontrolled control munitions across Libya. Also what we've seen recently in the fighting which broke out in southern Tripoli in April of last year is the expenditure ordinance and the threat posed by explosive remnants of war as increased and sadly many of the areas that were previously cleared of you exit have now been reconsolidated as a result. The current fighting some specific concerns that we've got amendment relates to some of the more complex munitions that The Libyan's require assistance to dispose off. And the previous Qaddafi regime for example bolts some quite complex missile systems that use talks ick propellants and these toxic propellants pose a very considerable threat to the environment went and also to the Libyan people which live close proximity to their storage depots so one of the projects that are mass. Lear initiated with support from the German government his to safely dispose of some of these very hazardous liquid propellants in Libya. Thank you Bob for that. Now I'm going to turn to leave because you're the Global Communications Honcho Four. Unless you could tell me how many countries on Mrs Operating in I'm what stays sort of information sharing between those officers who are involved in making community safe and and maybe what are the new ways that we using computers not officially intelligence to help us improve decontamination. Everywhere yeah the United Nations by action service we of nineteen programs in countries and territories around the world the UN as a whole is a little bit over thirty so the UN is. We're mine action. United Nations mine. Action has the Inter Agency Coordination Group for Mine Action which we helped to service and facilitate and that's really is an information exchange so and this meeting that we're at this week in Geneva Leyva where we have the national directors from all over the world from every mine affected country. I'm comes in. That's a big part of it is to share lessons learned best practices and the technology which is very important specifically with with improvised explosive devices. I mean we've been working for years in Afghanistan. We've seen a lot of devices that were used in Afghanistan that show up in other conflict zones specifically today's in Somalia we've seen stuff in Iraq. There's an innovation there. There's obviously on the dark web. People have access to figure out WHO's building. What and how are they building yet? What type of charges etc.? So you have to stay alert and you have to be following that. Obviously that's not something terribly new military out there in the world The United Nations. We don't don't particularly do intelligence service things but we are starting a database now in order to try to bring in academics and the governments that want to share that information in order that we make our people on the ground safer so that people would have some type of place to go to look at the type of devices I see they can do photos of directly and put it up in this database and then people can look at it from other parts of the world and say immediately. I've seen that. Don't touch that wire. I mean if you WanNa get it simple or this is probably how it is or the or the charter is going to be. You know. Two hundred meters. There's away or is that kind of thing and somebody mentioned earlier today when we were speaking about infrared Is that you know the technologies that exist out there. They are extremely deadly. It's a little bit different than a landmine. I'm where you're just using a metal detector and you're going along and something beeps and you're saying okay is that you know a pop top or is that something more dangerous when you deal with. ID's there three hundred sixty degrees so you don't know where they are And I mean there was just an attack recently in Afghanistan for example where somebody stuck a charge on the top of the roof of a car which killed the UN employees it was UNDP and that's an example of something which smit this new database that's going to be soft launch today at this is meeting with look into. So what specs do you need for your car roofs when the UN by vehicles because that's obviously a weakness right when a car sitting in traffic and somebody puts a bomb on the roof of of it and nobody thought about that but there are ways to know if there's devices on a car magnetic sensors that tell you. Something's been added this car and that's the kind of stuff that we need to know. The the United Nations need in order to keep all personnel. And all NGOs safe. It is frightening. You could be totally paranoid radio studio. They want to step foot outside. Because it's you know I've read the English patient I've read the some of the mindset of somebody who's laying mines encounters and things. I think my goodness this is just extraordinarily frightening writing and terrifying. And I'm Bob you're saying earlier the the threat of mines is not going away. Sadly the very effective asymmetric form of Attack Jack and the effectiveness of the ID as technology level is now very much understood by. The extremists are employing days. I mean sadly that knowledge is now the Leah's mentioned the information is disseminated now across the Internet. It is relatively easy now for people with no previous experience or training to acquire The knowledge from the web to make homemade explosives and to build quite sophisticated audience systems from scratch. You know with any external intervention. So so you're suggesting earlier Bob that it's not just a question of getting the minds out of the ground. It's a broader approach. Can you maybe explain what that means. Yes certainly insufficient really just to deal with the the explosive threat itself itself when one considers the threat posed by ideas. You really look at the the. ID system so it requires an effective whole of government approach. And that's very much based on not just the entity that's dealing with the explosive straight itself. But you got to look at the forensic organization that recovers evidence the analysis of that of the good police squirt this required to identify locate arrest and then process the perpetrators through the judicial system and Libya. This is happening. It is happening. Actually the The Mass Libya team has worked quite closely with Libyan authorities. And we've been trying to develop the forensic skills of the Criminal Investigation Department such that the Libyan police. I can do this themselves. Thank you very much. I think we've pretty much come to the end of this discussion very brief Look at what your and Mine Action Service is doing. It's been a delight to have you here but I'd love often any final messages or thoughts that you have before you plunge back into the dark recesses of the UN Pele here in Geneva and share information which is obviously why you're here simply that clearing clearing the wolves. Lamont problem is achievable. It's very very achievable. I started de-mining in nineteen ninety-three when the world talked about it being a thousand year problem problem now it down to single digits of years with realistic assessments. Credible Clarence methods. We're winning this fight. Unfortunately the fighters moved on on the problem is not being replaced by problem. The crux of this issue is ending grievances. If people want to find a way to kill each other's they will do so but in those countries where the wounds have healed such as Cambodia. We can go on and complete the Job Sarah Jerry Richard. Bulte Bob Seddon ugly really would yeah. Many things

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