NEW YORK, MAY 18 – “Italy remains fully engaged in pursuing the objective of a mine free world and in preserving stability in this part of the world”, the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Inigo Lambertini stated at the conclusion of a three day mission of mine action donors to Lebanon from May 15 to 17.
“Italy contributes to humanitarian mine action in many countries and we continue to be the first contributor from Western Countries with over a 1,000 troops in UNIFIL, and other UN peacekeeping operations. Lebanon was an ideal country for the MASG to visit as it has a strong national authority committed to humanitarian mine action, plus a peacekeeping element that is also very involved in mine action,” said Lambertini who led the mission, an initiative of the Mine Action Support Group (MASG). Italy serves as the current Chair of the MASG.
With the support of Lebanese Mine Action Centre (LMAC) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the trip provided an opportunity for MASG members to observe mine action activities and discuss relevant issues. Ambassador Lambertini was accompanied by a delegation representing the United States, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the European Union, France, ITF Enhancing Security, the LMAC, and the United Nations. Highlights of the very full agenda included a tour of the new LMAC Regional School for Humanitarian Demining in Hammana, a meeting with LMAC risk education partners and local children, and a briefing and demining demonstration by UNMAS and the Chinese Multi-role Engineering Unit in UNIFIL, along the Blue Line in Lebanon.
The MASG brings together Member States and stakeholders that ensure a coherent response to mine affected countries and regions around the world. “Italy is a longstanding partner of UNMAS and has been an active and innovative Chair of the MASG. This MASG visit is an excellent initiative that improves the exchange of information and leads to a common understanding among mine action donors,” stated Agnes Marcaillou, Director of UNMAS. “This is a great benefit to UNMAS and will increase the positive impact of our field operations,” she added. (@OnuItalia)