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Mine Action Strategy 2005-2007

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The EC Mine Action Strategy has as its strategic objective a drastic reduction in the lingering threat and impact of anti-personnel landmines in the context of increased local security and regional confidence. It sets out three thematic objectives, one horizontal objective and six geographic priorities.

SUMMARY

This strategy and programming establish guidelines for building on the support that Europe has provided to mine action and provides a strategic framework in which the appropriate Community measures are to be conducted.

Landmines and the role of Europe

Five years after the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT of 1999) (FR) enormous progress has been made: the number of victims has dropped from 26 000 per year to between 15 000 and 20 000; the number of States where landmines are used has fallen from 19 (in 1997) to 5; more than 31 million stockpiled landmines have been destroyed by States party to the Treaty.

"The European Community envisions a world free from the threat of anti-personnel landmines (APL) and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in which all affected countries themselves are able to take full control of their APL and UXO problems and to provide victims with prompt care and ongoing assistance."

The document indicates several key objectives of the international community. These objectives relate to the mine clearance of areas of highest impact on local populations and increased assistance to the victims of anti-personnel landmines. They also aim to encourage non-signatories to adhere to the principles of the MBT Treaty and to assist States which are struggling to eliminate their stockpiles.

Within the international community, Europe's role is multifaceted: political, financial (the EU is the world's leading donor), coordinating and catalysing.

Specific needs and lessons learned

On the basis of the lessons learned from experience, the European Community (EC) will adopt a multi-pronged approach aimed at achieving more efficient and prioritised mine clearance of the high-impact areas. The marking and fencing of high-and medium-impact areas and raising the awareness of the population of the dangers of mines will also be dealt with as a priority. These actions will be accompanied by the destruction of stockpiles and, if necessary, initiatives in favour of universalisation of the MBT.

The document mentions the need to assist victims of anti-personnel landmines not only through local medical capacity building, but also through socio-economic rehabilitation and re-integration of landmine victims.

Several means are identified to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of mine action, notably local capacity building, fielding innovative technologies and equipment, enhancing the coordination of donor assistance and mainstreaming mine action into wider programmes of assistance.

Europe's strategy

Europe (EC/EU) has set itself the following strategic objective for the period 2005-2007: "to drastically reduce the lingering threat and impact of landmines in the context of increased local security and regional confidence".

The European Roadmap towards a Zero Victim Target comprises three thematic objectives:

  • to reduce the anti-personnel landmine threat;
  • to alleviate mine victim suffering and aid socio-economic reintegration;
  • to enhance local and regional impacts of effective mine action capacity.

This strategy sets one horizontal objective cutting across all objectives: it is necessary to ensure that all mine action activities are conducted coherently, efficiently and effectively.

When establishing the geographic priorities of the European interventions, the following criteria must be taken into account:

  • commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty. Assistance for mine clearance and stockpile destruction will be provided only to States which are party to the Treaty, with a certain degree of flexibility to react to serious humanitarian crises.
  • high humanitarian and developmental need. The funds available will focus on the urgent needs of the affected populations.
  • strategic importance for the EU. Geographically, a significant proportion of European initiatives will target affected countries in close proximity to the EU and regions of strategic importance.
  • sustainability and coherence with wider assistance. The priorities should be established in coherence with the wider assistance programmes.
  • proven commitment of States which are not parties to the Treaty to mine action and the principles of the MBT.
  • efficiency and effectiveness of local/national mine action planning and programmes.

The success of the actions of this strategy will be measured by indicators, such as the immediate reduction in the threat of mines and the impact of the development programmes for the socio-economic reintegration of the victims.

Multi-annual indicative programming

Multi-annual indicative programming has been designed to ensure optimum use of funds available. It provides that the total Community assistance for mine action during the period 2005-2007 should amount to at least EUR 120 million.

The multi-annual programming sets out:

  • the priority objectives for each region;
  • specific actions to be undertaken for the priority objectives within each country;
  • annual and multi-annual indicative budgets (calculated on the basis of the global budget).

Background

The European Union welcomed the adoption in 1997 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (" Mine Ban Treaty " - "MBT"). In 2001 the EU adopted two Regulations (No 1724/2001 and No 1725/2001) defining a coherent strategy concerning action against anti-personnel landmines in developing countries and third countries other than developing countries. The first indicative multi-annual programming 2002-2004 was adopted with a view to ensuring coherence of the Community efforts in achieving the objectives set by the international community.

This information sheet is published for information. Its aim is neither to interpret nor to replace the reference document, which remains the sole binding legal basis.

Last updated: 14.06.2007
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