The indiscriminate laying of landmines has created a long term development problem in many countries across the globe. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has a growing role in supporting Governments of mine affected countries and local communities to address this problem.
The United Nations Policy on Mine Action confirms the need for a fully integrated response to the problems caused by landmines and UXO, incorporating mine awareness and risk reduction education; minefield survey, mapping, marking and clearance; victim assistance, including rehabilitation and reintegration; and advocacy to stigmatize the use of landmines and support a total ban on antipersonnel landmines. The policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of each of the relevant UN Agencies, coordinated by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
UNDP is responsible “for addressing the socio-economic consequences of landmine contamination and for supporting national/local capacity building to ensure the elimination of the obstacle they pose to the resumption of normal economic activity, reconstruction and development. When applicable, UNDP will have normal responsibility for the development of integrated, sustainable national/local mine action programmes.....”
Development of national/local capacity
UNDP’s role is not to engage in actual mine clearance itself, but to assist Governments to develop long term capacity to manage, prioritize and coordinate their Mine Action Programme. UNDP, with its network of offices in 137 countries and its multi-sectoral approach to development, is able to provide appropriate support and training for the establishment of integrated national mine action programmes. In addition, it has a small specialist team based at its headquarters office in New York, which provides assistance in areas such as capacity building, technical advice, training, resource mobilisation and advocacy for a fully integrated approach to mine action. The team provides direct support to UNDP’s regional bureaux and country offices, who in turn assist national governments.
UNDP is responsible for supporting mine action capacity building projects in various stages of development the following countries:
ExistingProgrammes Pilot Programmes Initial Planning Angola Guinea Bissau Albania Azerbaijan Sri Lanka Lebanon Bosnia & Herzegovina Iran Jordan Cambodia Thailand Chad Lao PDR Mozambique Somalia Yemen
As of May 2000
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has been contracted to provide project services for many of these programmes. Further information on the specific details of these programmes is contained in the country information sections of this report.
UNDP’s support to host Governments is aimed at developing an appropriate, sustainable response to the problems of landmines which contaminate their country. Typically, this response will include:
- The development of a national legislative framework which will set out how mine action activities should be conducted. If the country has signed or ratified the Mine Ban Treaty, the legislation will also address its obligations in respect of the Convention. This framework will also normally identify which Ministries and other organisations will participate in defining the national mine action policy.
- The establishment of a national mine action centre which will be responsible for preparation of the national mine action plan, consulting on a working level with key ministries and other organisations to ensure that the plan addresses established priorities. The national mine action centre would normally also be responsible for the development of the national standards, quality assurance, the national mine action data-base, tasking/contracting of implementing partners and training.
- The implementation of an information management system. UNDP, in close cooperation with UNMAS and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), is working with national mine action programmes to introduce the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA). In the past year, UNDP coordinated the participation of Information Managers and Technical Advisers from the national mine action programmes in Chad, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, Laos, Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Yemen in training on the system.
- The development and implementation of a resource mobilisation strategy and plan.
- The provision of assistance with training and capacity building. UNDP provides technical advisers to support and provide on-the-job training for key staff of national mine action centres. In addition, in 1999, UNDP undertook a study which assessed the training needs of management staff and proposed options to address them. The Government of the United Kingdom is now funding UNDP’s follow-on project, implemented by Cranfield University in the UK, to develop training packages for executive, senior and middle managers. The Senior Manager’s pilot course will be trialed at Cranfield University in August-September 2000. After a post-course review of the materials, the training packages will be distributed for delivery in country, through local colleges, specialist trainers, or by project technical advisers. Similar strategies will be adopted with the training for executive and middle managers.
Addressing Socio-Economic issues
Socio-Economic Impact Study
In order to assist mine action programmes set priorities, and to assist in reporting the impact of their work, UNDP has commissioned GICHD to conduct a study into the assessment of the socio-economic impact of mine action. The study report and guidelines are intended to be a clear and straightforward operational tool for programme planners who will look at how human, social, economic and environmental indicators have been used in mine action. The study will also address how mine action as a whole is integrated within emergency and development initiatives. The findings will help the programme planner to set more meaningful programme objectives, and thereby to identify clear targets by which both the efficiency and the effectiveness of mine action can be judged. The study entails a review of the literature on mine action, including programme planning and evaluation in both the humanitarian and development fields. This will be supplemented by country case studies to document differences in how agencies cope with mine and UXO contamination in three situations: (1) immediate reaction to a complex emergency (Kosovo); (2) transition from humanitarian to development assistance (Mozambique); and (3) “normal development” (Laos).
Socio-Economic Reintegration of Landmine Victims
The World Rehabilitation Fund (WRF) has been engaged to conduct a project for UNDP looking at the socio-economic reintegration of landmine victims. This project, which is being implemented in Cambodia, Laos, Lebanon and Mozambique, has developed a “prototype” of mechanisms and services which should be in place to support the socio-economic re-integration of landmine victims. It is also developing pilot projects to demonstrate approaches which can bring about this goal, as well as seeking funding for further initiatives in these countries. In the first year of this project, WRF have worked in Cambodia and Laos, analysing the legislative and organisational frameworks as well as services being provided in country. In addition, they have conducted an initial visit to Lebanon to introduce the project and agree on the approach to its implementation in the country. Links are being established between WRF and the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) to ensure that there is proper coordination between this project and the LSN project for the Landmine Survivors Rehabilitation Database.
UNDP assists governments and others involved in the national mine action response to carry out their own resource mobilisation efforts. This can be through the provision of advice, assisting with the establishment and management of Trust Funds, establishing cost-sharing agreements, facilitating in-kind contributions, and participating in round table meetings, consultative groups and similar mechanisms. UNDP also submits information on the country programmes and their resource needs to the UN Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects, contributing to a coordinated UN approach to resource mobilisation for mine action.
In 1999, UNDP contributed approximately US$ 6 million of its own resources for mine action activities. These seed funds succeeded in raising a further US$ 30 million in cost sharing or contributions to UNDP Trust funds. In addition, UNDP works in close cooperation with the National Mine Action Programmes that it supports to coordinate resource mobilisation for the total programme. It is estimated that, in 1999, a total of over US$ 50 million was contributed by host governments and donors for mine action programmes in these countries. Recently, UNDP has worked closely with the Government of Mozambique and their National Demining Institute (IND) to develop its strategy and resource mobilisation plan to respond the effect of the major flooding on the landmine situation. UNDP has also worked to ensure continuing support for the Cambodian Mine Action Centre as it responds to the need for management change.
The United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA) continues to be an active partner raising resources for mine clearance through the “Adopt-A-Minefield” campaign. By the end of April 2000, over US$1.5 million had been pledged, of which almost US$.1.3 million had been received by UNA-USA. The Mine Action Programmes in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Croatia and Mozambique are currently participating in this programme. It is hoped that one or two additional Mine Action Centres will be able to join the programme this year.
The headquarters-based Mine Action Team coordinates with UNMAS, other UN partners, the World Bank, non-government organisations and donors, and represents UNDP at international meetings as appropriate, and ensures that information is shared with colleagues as necessary, UNDP is also represented on focus groups, the survey certification committee and other inter-agency groups.
- Post Crisis Recovery and Landmines, a twenty-four page booklet which describes the ways in which UNDP’s support to mine action programmes assists the countries in their recovery process, with particular reference to its socio-economic impact.
- Capacity Building for Sustainable Mine Action: a tri-fold brochure describing UNDP’s role in capacity building for mine action.
In addition, the internet site < http://www.undp.org/erd/mineaction/ > which provides information on UNDP’s mine action policy and programmes is regularly updated.
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