Federal government demining strategy, 2012 to 2015
The federal government has defined the strategy for its commitment to humanitarian demining for the period from 2012 to 2015. An annual amount of around 16 million Swiss francs is to be spent for projects and the secondment of experts in the fight against landmines, cluster bombs and other explosive remnants of war.
Today, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) are publishing the humanitarian demining strategy of the Swiss Confederation for the period from 2012 to 2015, to coincide with the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action (4 April 2012).
Although notable progress has been achieved during the past two decades, every year there are more reports of victims of landmines, cluster bombs and explosive remnants of war. Numerous civilians in former conflict regions still suffer from the consequences of the use of these weapons, which hamper economic and social development, have a negative impact on the security of millions of people, prevent the repatriation of displaced persons and thus give rise to renewed instability and conflict.
Since the 1990s, Switzerland has been actively campaigning for the implementation of international instruments to prohibit these weapons. The current strategy is its third in succession, and it not only outlines Switzerland’s commitment, but also presents the results that have been achieved to date. It is partly thanks to Switzerland’s support that countries such as Albania or Burundi have been cleared of landmines. Switzerland has made a significant contribution to improving the living circumstances of the affected populations in various regions and countries, including Colombia, Niger, Laos, Libya, the Horn of Africa, and South-East Europe.
Each year around 16 million Swiss francs are spent on supporting the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), for the implementation of specific projects in affected countries and the secondment of demining experts. The FDFA has entered into commitments at the political level, for example in projects to promote awareness of landmines, as well as to provide aid for victims and support demining operations. The DDPS places demining experts at the disposal of international organisations such as the UN. Switzerland is also actively involved in related multilateral bodies, and is committed to ensuring that the obligations of signatory states are implemented more efficiently and effectively.
The strategy that is being published today is an expression of Switzerland’s solidarity with victims, as well as of its intention to remain active and committed at the political and practical levels to a world without landmines, cluster bombs and other explosive remnants of war.
Phone 031 322 31 53
Phone 031 322 31 53