Statement by Dr. Pratibha Mehta Resident Representative, UNDP Tajikistan
11th of December, 2019
Venue: National Library of Tajikistan
Excellency Mr. Davlatali Said, First Deputy Prime Minister
Excellency Minister of Justice,
Excellencies, Director Muhabbat Ibrohimzoda,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to speak at the meeting of the Commission on Implementation of the International Humanitarian Law and thank the Director of Mine Action Mr. Inrohimzoda for the presentation of projects.
Globally, mine action continues to be an important priority as it is critical for ensuring humanitarian protection for people, for reinforcing peace and security, and as a catalyst for sustainable development.
For example, in Tajikistan the land cleared up is being used for cultivation, for housing, health clinics, water supply, schools, etc. thereby reducing poverty and food insecurity, promoting service delivery contributing to achieving several SDGs.
As we celebrate 25th anniversary of UNDP’s collaboration in Tajikistan this year, we are particularly proud of our partnership for Mine Action institution since the very beginning when Tajikistan prioritized this issue.
Thanks to the leadership of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and its effective coordination with the international community, a lot of projects has been made just in 2019 22 sq. kilometers of land freed up from land mines, and is now being utilized for different economic purposes, giving development dividends. Over the past (15) years UNDP has helped to mobilize funds to support the Mine Action Programme in the country, and has supported capacity building, monitoring, coordination and quality assurance, and contributed into long term results such as development and adoption of the National Mine Action Law, National Mine Action Strategy and National Mine Action Standards.
In addition, our effort along with other partners has been to institutionalize mine action, and ensure smooth transition of knowledge and expertise from UNDP to Tajikistan’s National Mine Action Centre working with a strong network of partner organizations dealing with mine clearance, mine risk education and comprehensive victim assistance. The nationalization of the Mine Action Programme and establishment of the State Entity “Tajikistan National Mine Action Center” (TNMAC) as a separate government entity in 2014, is our joint success story that has been recognized by all.
Tajikistan’s National Mine Action Centre symbolizes political commitment and strong national ownership of mine action agenda and commitment to fulfil the Ottawa Convention obligations.
This year, UNDP has provided technical support in the preparation of the Extension Request for completion of landmine clearance by 2025, as stipulated by the Article Five of the Ottawa Convention obligations.
The Extension Request will allow clearance of about 12 sq. km of hazardous registered land. As they say, “the last mile is the hardest”, perhaps some new and non-traditional donors supports Government may also be interested in supporting the Government but with political commitment and ownership of the mine action agenda by the Government of Tajikistan, and support of international community, we are sure that Tajikistan will become “mine free” by 2025.
Today we are discussing Mine Action with the International Humanitarian law and taking this opportunity I would also like to highlight the importance of cleaning the 10 uranium legacy sites.
UNDP stays committed to promoting the implementation of international humanitarian law particularly for a “mine free” society, and is ready to provide technical advice by mobilizing its regional and global expertise.