NEW YORK, OCTOBER 24 – After a two years leadership, Italy is about to pass next December the chairmanship of the Mine Action Support Group, a coalition of about 30 countries with the goal to coordinate the humanitarian mine action funding programs of the world’s major donor states, harmonize the prioritization of their respective mine action funding and increase donor support for mine action where it is most needed. “As many of you know, the MASG was started in 1998, so next year marks the 20thanniversary”, the current chair and Italian Deputy Permanent Representative Inigo Lambertini said today during the last biannual meeting at the Italian Mission in New York.
Italy, which had inherited the chairmanship in 2016 from Japan, will pass the leadership of the Group to the United States.
“Looking ahead, I am sure that there will be a need for the MASG in the future, as long as mine action continues. I encourage donors to keep mine action high on their agenda, and mainstream it into humanitarian, development, and peace and security programmes”, said Lambertini, stressing how the latest Report of the Secretary-General on Assistance in Mine Action (A/72/226) highlighted the increasing impact of conflicts on civilians, particularly the rise in casualties from victim-activated improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war.
“The report demonstrates the cross-cutting nature of mine action in preventing conflict and sustaining peace, noting how mine action can act as an important confidence building measure in peace processes and stabilization of communities in the earliest stages of conflict recovery”, the Italian DPR said. Italy has been supporting mine action since 2001, with a total amount of about 47 million Euro, while the financial allocations for demining in 2017 amount to approximately 3,3 Million Euros. Thanks to the Italian funding, demining initiatives are currently being implemented in Bosnia, Colombia, Sudan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Libya. (@OnuItalia)