Addis Ababa, 8 March 2013- The Commission of the African Union (AU), in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), concluded, yesterday, 7 March 2013, a three-day Workshop on Weapons Contamination: Addressing key challenges to meeting clearance deadline under the 1997 Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention (MBC) and the 2008 Convention of Cluster Munitions (CCM), at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The workshop was attended by experts from AU Member States, partners, ICRC, United Nations, and technical experts from demining center operators.
The workshop aimed to engage clearance experts from the affected AU Member States, as well as those that have completed their clearance obligations, in a regionally-focused discussion on meeting clearance deadlines under the MBC and CCM and to seek solutions to these challenges.
The meeting also provided the Member States’ experts with a platform to present and share their experiences.
The workshop reviewed the extent of the weapons contamination problem among AU Member States and how Member States could secure national and political support, including through the development of clearance strategies and plans that clearly identify priorities. It also highlighted technical challenges that Member States experienced, as well as resource constraints.
The workshop stressed on the urgent need to mobilize support for mine action within the African continent, while underscoring the need to ensure that national ownership is at the forefront of clearance efforts in order for Member States to meet their obligations under the MBC and CCM.