International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
On 04th April 2018, Tajikistan National Mine Action Centre (TNMAC) marked the celebration of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action by demonstrating demining, casualty evacuation and mine risk education activities on the territory of the newly established National Mine Action Training Centre.
All involved national ministries such as the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of the Health and Social Protection, Ministry of Education, Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, development partners including United Nations Development Programme, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan (RCST), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), the Union of Sappers of Tajikistan (UST) as well as mine/ERW victims and their family members participated in the event. The Ambassadors of the embassies of the United States of America, Japan, Uzbekistan, Russian Federation and United Kingdom to the Republic of Tajikistan have spoken at the event to demonstrate solidarity in support of mine action activities in Tajikistan and outline the role of Mine Action Programme as a main center for humanitarian demining activities with equipped technical knowledge and skills in the Central Region.
An International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was officially announced by UN General Assembly resolution on 08 December 2005 and is celebrated in Tajikistan since 2006. The Republic of Tajikistan is the only country in the region which is a State Party to Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention also known as Ottawa Convention and to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
Mr.Rustam Shohmurod, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Deputy Head of the Commission on Implementation of the International Humanitarian Law (CIIHL) in the opening remarks thanked all donor countries, agencies and involved international organizations for their continuous support in implementation of mine action activities in the country and ensured Government’s commitment to do its best to support the implementation of the Ottawa Convention by April 2020.
H.E. Mr. Hajime Kitaoka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Tajikistan emphasized the importance of strengthening cross-border cooperation in enhancing the living standards of the Tajik people.
H.E. Mr. Kevin Covert, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Tajikistan highlighted the role of the US Government in support of mine action activities in Tajikistan throughout these years and named the event as a “historical moment, which can help Tajikistan become one of the first countries in the region free of mines by 2030”.
Mr. Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda, Director of the Tajikistan National Mine Action Center in his opening remarks thanked UNDP, donor countries and all involved international organizations for their continuous support to Tajikistan Mine Action Programme in the country during the last 15 year and stated “only joints efforts can help us make Tajikistan a country free of mines”.
Mr. Mubin Rustamov, the Assistant Resident Representative and Head of Programme of the United Nations Development Programme in Tajikistan mentioned about UNDP contribution and impact of mine action on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as well as highlighted the strategic achievements such as nationalization of TNMAC and the excellent progress in land release, mine risk education and victim assistance. UNDP within its mandate, and in accordance with the principle of humanism, will make every effort to assist those who have suffered and continue to suffer from the mines. UNDP will apply our every effort to promote a “minefree” society, support socio-economic initiatives for mine victims, their families and people with disabilities, as well as increase mine awareness and mine risk education.
The event provided an opportunity to advocate for prohibition of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions through exchange of information and demonstration of solidarity with victims to support relevant international conventions at high level. It also served as a great platform for resource mobilization for the purpose of fulfilling the Ottawa convention obligation. The closing ceremony comprised by the media interviews and a group photo taken in support of this year’s campaign “Advancing Protection, Peace and Development
Tajikistan is contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war as a result of civil war in 1992–1997 and mine-laying along the Afghan border by Russian forces. Population living along parts of the border with Uzbekistan face a threat from mines laid by Uzbekistan along parts of their side of the still disputed border. There is also a residual threat from cluster munition remnants in the Central Region, although the precise location and extent of contamination is not known. The extent of contamination from other explosive remnants of war is limited. Tajikistan acceded to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in 1999 and to the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in 2005 including its Protocol II and V on ERW.