ITF Attends the Meeting of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation
Under the Slovenian chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) by H.E. Amb Benedejčič, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations in Vienna, FSC met in order to discuss the role of mine action in the OSCE region. Mine action remains an important element of security and stability in OSCE area, as the trend of mine victims has doubled in the last five years on a global scale. For OSCE the role of mine action is essential especially in Ukraine, where last year one of the OSCE members of Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine lost their life due to mine contamination.
Amb Benedejčič stressed out the role of Slovenia in mine action and its commitments under the Ottawa Treaty. Next to this, he also expressed the importance of Slovenia’s support to ITF, which in his opinion has excellent 20 years of experience and results in humanitarian mine action. Amb Benedejčič noted that humanitarian mine action has the possibility to become a force of change in the gender equality. Inclusion of women in mine action increases the chances for stabilization, reconstruction and development of mine-affected society, which ultimately brings wider and more long-lasting peace.
Amb Lovrenčič, ITF Director, in his presentation at the FSC meeting stressed out that humanitarian mine action is not only about mines, but mainly about people who are victimized. Humanitarian mine action is not only demining, but remains an integrated approach supported by all five pillars of mine action. As the consequences of mine action are mainly humanitarian and developmental, Amb Lovrenčič highlighted the goal of mine action: a safe environment, where stable and dignified life fosters economic and social development of the affected society.
ITF Director concluded his remarks at the FSC meeting with a message that mine action remains as a prerequisite to all others areas of humanitarian aid. It is of detrimental importance for OSCE and FSC to ensure further support to all elements of humanitarian mine action, but especially demining and victims assistance. With this approach mine-affected groups and individuals can eventually become independent and active members of the society.