HDP Nexus in Mine Action – for stronger national ownership
Event: HDP Nexus in Mine Action – for stronger national ownership
Date: 5 (Thu) - 6 (Fri) October 2023 (2 days)
Venue: Nairobi, Kenya
Co-host: United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC)
A total of about 25 people (Mine Action Authority and UNMAS field office from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, UNMAS Sudan Office, CMAC, UNMAS HQs, JICA HQs, JICA Kenya Office, Embassy of Japan in Kenya)
In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the need for comprehensive support in the field of mine action from the humanitarian, developmental, and peace perspectives. Of particular significance is the smooth transition from mine action in the emergency response phase, which is initiated before the conflict is completely over, to mine action contributing to reconstruction and development. In addition, achieving effective mine action activities is also significant.
In Cambodia, for example, landmines were buried throughout the country during the civil war in the 1970s and 1980s, causing much damage. After the end of the civil war, UN peacekeeping operations (PKO) began in 1992, Cambodia initiated mine action program and has been evolving its program over three decades. Notably, CMAC has emerged as a pivotal implementing organization and developed its capacities.
JICA has started cooperation with CMAC in 1998. Since 2010, JICA has been supporting initiatives to share CMAC’s knowledge and skill with other landmine and UXO contaminated countries such as Colombia, Laos, Angola, and Iraq as a format of South-South cooperation. Recently, under the support of JICA, CMAC has been providing training for Ukraine as well. By sharing knowledge and experience on Cambodia's institution, organization, and technology on mine action, CMAC has contributed to solving the world’s landmine issues.
The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) conducts mine action activities mostly in situation of ongoing or immediate-after conflicts. Since UNMAS operates in the emergency phase while CMAC has experienced the transition from the emergency phase to the reconstruction and development phase of mine action program, it is expected that collaboration of UNMAS and CMAC will make it possible to identify necessary approaches for strengthening the national capacity of mine action programs from the emergency to the mid- to long-term perspectives, and to expand more effective mine action programs in countries around the world, consistent with the concept of the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus.
National organizations from four African countries (Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South-Sudan) were participated in the workshop, which was designed to
On the outset, JICA provided an overview of its cooperation in the field of mine action and the purpose of the workshop, followed by presentations from UNMAS and CMAC on their respective organizations and activities. Then, national organizations in mine action from African countries made presentations on the contamination situation, organizational and institutional outlines, strategies, activities, and capacity development needs, and CMAC, UNMAS, and JICA delivered feedback on each country's presentation.
Subsequently, discussions were held on future cooperation and collaboration possibilities. The African participants showed great interest in CMAC's 30 years of experience in the field and expressed a strong desire to learn more about CMAC's knowledge. Many participants reiterated that mine action do not end with emergency response, but require mid- to long-term activities to achieve the development of the country, that ownership by national government is necessary to ensure sustainability, and that it is also important to have national organization responsible for implementation of mine action activities. The participants also shared the recognition that baseline survey and NTS (Non-technical survey) are important for effective and efficient mine action, but also confirmed that high-quality surveys have not been conducted in all four countries.
During the workshop
The outcomes of the workshop were summarized as follows:
The participants agreed that (1) the national organizations from the four African countries participating in the workshop will travel to Cambodia to observe and learn CMAC activities (in 2024), and (2) the formulation of UNMAS-JICA-CMAC partnership projects in the African region should be promoted. It was also agreed that the results of the workshop would be shared widely with mine action related agencies in each country. The usefulness of exchanging information and opinions within the region was also reaffirmed, and it was suggested that the network established through the workshop be utilized in the future. Participants from the four countries emphasized the usefulness of the discussions in the workshop and expressed their expectations for site visit of CMAC’s activities and their appreciation for the opportunity to have professional discussions with relevant organizations in the region and in Cambodia, which is a leader in this field. UNMAS, JICA, and CMAC reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and strengthening the awareness of ownership in each country that has been enhanced through the discussion, and concluded the two-day workshop.
Group photo of participants