The reinforcement of the contribution of the European Union.
The European Union has made a comprehensive response to the APL challenges through the Community, CFSP and the Parliament and policies in the field of development co-operation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, and research. The Council of Ministers has been actively engaged on the APL issue since 1995 through joint actions and resolutions; diplomatic demarches and dialogue with third countries; activity in international fora such as the United Nations; active participation in the Ottawa process; and through practical action.
All fifteen member states of the Union attended the Ottawa Conference from 2-4 December 1997, and 14 of them signed the Convention. The European Union supported mine action also through various institutions, in particular the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance (UNVTF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). As regards CFSP funds, the Council has taken decisions since 1995 to contribute a total of some 21.6 MECU reserved for CFSP action to a range of mine actions carried out by leading international organisations. The European Union is thus the largest single contributor to both the United Nations and the ICRC for funds related to Mine actions.
Since 1995, the European Parliament has been strongly committed to the APL issue and has acted as a consistent advocate of the total ban through successive resolutions and questions. Most recently, the European Parliament resolution on APL of 18 December 1997, in addition to encouraging wider adherence to the Convention and its early ratification, also called for more effective co-ordination of international efforts in mine clearance and in the rehabilitation of victims.
The greater part of the European Union contribution comes from Community resources which are controlled and managed by the European Commission. Over the past eight years, European Community support for mine action has exceeded EUR 180 million. On 14 March 2000, the European Commission approved a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council as well as a draft Regulation on an ACTION AGAINST ANTI PERSONNEL LANDMINES: REINFORCING THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Reasons behind the decision to revamp the Anti-Landmines strategy and process are multi-fold; they concern the need to take stock of the experiences and lessons learned until now on the field and indirectly, the need to approach the problem with an overall strategy and under all the facettes required by the criteria for Humanitarian and Civil Demining, the need to introduce explicit links between de-mining and safety and security objectives, to reinforce Community's mine actions, to ensure complementarity and consistency between Community policies and those of Member States, to reinforce overall efficiency as required by the obligations under Ottawa Convention and thus to remove the scourge of landmines within the next 10 to 15 years at the latest. A reinforced budgetary line will progressively lead to a level of quantity and quality of commitments such as to keep up with and exceed Community's past records.
The European Union has intervened in all corners of the world, it has supported action by national authorities, international organisations, and not least NGOs. It has contributed to de-mining and mine destruction as well as to victim assistance and research into new de-mining technology. But until now, we have not had a coherent overall approach to our mine action.
To take full advantage of the diversity of our instruments and funding mechanisms, we must make sure that we have a framework in which we can formulate the necessary horizontal guidelines and priorities in order to ensure effectiveness and consistency in what we do. The funding of mine action from the geographic programmes and their budget lines will continue. Mine clearance and other forms of mine action are often a preliminary step to any sensible development programme.
Therefore they should form part of national or regional reconstruction and rehabilitation plans. The new regulation and the special budget line will support and complement the geographic line by providing the overall policy framework and functioning as a general reserve and a source for funding for international programmes. The re-sources available for European Community mine actions should remain at least at the same level in real terms as we have achieved over the last few years, that is about EUR 30 million a year. European member states contributions will add to this amount as much thus bringing the total average to at least 60 m € per year.
Regular programmes for mine clearance and destruction under our new policy should principally benefit countries which have subscribed to the Ottawa Convention. But we must also be ready to provide exceptional assistance to mine victims at their homes or when they have been displaced, even when they have the misfortune to find themselves in a non-signatory country. The entry into force of the Ottawa Convention a year ago provided us with a forceful new instrument and a set of ambitious targets for the years to come. We have signed up to the objective of eliminating all landmines world-wide in ten to fifteen years. That will require determination, consistency and perseverance. With the funding and co-ordinating mechanism under the new regulation and communication, we are well placed to take on that challenge.
European Community Mine Actions 1999
ESSENCE OF THE PROJECT
Cambodia ECHO Halo Trust 20-06-99 31-03-00 700,000 KHM/210 Mine clearance Kosovo ECHO INTERSOS 17-01-00 31-03-00 360,000 TPS/214 Urgent humanitarian de-mining in Kosovo Kosovo ECHO HANDICAP–
9-12-9931-01-00 240,000 TPS/214 Emergency EOD team deployment to Kosovo Kosovo ECHO MAG-UK 26-11-99 31-03-00 350,000 TPS/214 Emergency humanitarian demining in Kosovo Kosovo ECHO HANDICAP –FRA/LYON 23-11-99 30-07-00 460,000 TPS/214 Kosovo mine action programme, Djakova district Kosovo DG RELEX 3,000,000 OBNOVA Institution Building Support to MACC BiH DG RELEX 4,000,000 OBNOVA De-mining programme Kosovo DG RELEX 1,000,000 OBNOVA Emergency support to MACC Afghanistan DG RELEX UNOCHA 3,800,000 AFG (B7-3020) Mine Action Angola INTERSOS 300,120 Orthopaedic rehabilitation centre and social reinsertion of victims (Italian co-financing) Angola INTERSOS 700,000 Training of a demining brigade and demining activities (Italian co-financing) Angola CARE 646,308 B7-6610 CAMRI II Angola Halo Trust 1,200,000 B7-6610 Mine clearance on the planalto Mozambique Min For Foreign Affairs of MOZ 71,775 B7-6610 Contribution to the Maputo Conference on MAP Croatia 424,197 CFSP Council decisions 1998/627/PESC and 1998/628/PESC R&D JRC 1,650,000 ESPRIT Development of vehicle-based multisensor detection prototype JRC 2,874,500 ESPRIT Development of hand-held multisensor detection prototype JRC 1,027,000 ESPRIT Development of light weight radar system JRC 1,925,000 ESPRIT Prototyping and field validation of hand-held multisensor detection system JRC 1,073,595 ESPRIT Development of neutron-based prototype to verify presence of buried mines JRC ca. 3,700,000 JRC Civilian de-mining JRC ca. 1,300,000 JRC Information systems on civilian de-mining TOTAL € 30,352,215