What's In Blue

Posted Fri 29 Jun 2018

Mine Action: Briefing

This afternoon (29 June), the Security Council will be briefed on mine action by Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions Alexander Zuev. It will consider the Secretary-General’s report on mine action (S/2018/623), requested in resolution 2365. Members are expected to make statements following the briefing.

Resolution 2365, the Council’s first stand-alone resolution on mine action, was adopted unanimously in June 2017. The resolution highlighted how the threat posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices affects both conflict and post-conflict situations. It noted that mine action “contributes to the protection of civilians and supports stabilization and peacebuilding efforts”. The resolution requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on its implementation within a year of its adoption.

Given that today’s briefing is based on this report, Zuev is likely to brief on progress and challenges in the implementation of resolution 2365. He may describe how mine action informs multiple facets of conflict prevention and sustaining peace, including the protection of civilians, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. He may further outline actions that can be taken to mitigate the impact of landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices. In this regard, the Secretary-General’s report noted that risk education programs reached 263 communities in Somalia and over 100,000 people in Darfur during the 1 July 2017 to 30 April 2018 reporting period.

The important role of mine action in peacekeeping operations is expected to be a significant focus of the meeting. In keeping with the views outlined in the Secretary-General’s report, some members may advocate for a greater emphasis on mine action in the planning and mandating of UN peace operations, and in the relevant country-specific discussions. Members may also express support for efforts to enhance the capacity of peacekeeping missions to conduct mine action activities safely and effectively. In 2017, 59 peacekeepers lost their lives and a further 150 were injured as a result of malevolent acts involving the use of explosive devices.

Another topic that may be raised in today’s meeting is the importance of partnerships between the UN and relevant external actors, including the AU and humanitarian organisations. In this respect, the technical assistance that the UN has provided to help implement the AU Mine Action and Explosive Remnants of War Strategic Framework may be noted during the meeting. In addition, some members may highlight the need to strengthen the UN’s partnerships with humanitarian actors, as these organisations often provide risk education to conflict-affected communities and participate in the clearance of land mines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices.

Some members would be interested in adopting a resolution requesting an annual report from the Secretary-General on mine action. Other members are concerned about adding mine action as another stand-alone item to the agenda. Nevertheless, Bolivia, which was the penholder on resolution 2365, may pursue a resolution on mine action in the future, based on views expressed by members during today’s meeting.

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