20th International Meeting of Mine Action National Programme Directors and United Nations Advisors Held in Geneva
In the period 7- 10 February 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland, the 20th International Meeting of Mine Action National Programme Directors and United Nations Advisors was held in Geneva. The meeting was organized by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).
Given that this year marks the 20th anniversary since one of the most efficient disarmament treaties - Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction or Ottawa Convention was adopted, the theme of this year's meeting was "Twenty Years of Mine Action: Needs Driven, People Centered.”
Representatives of the mine action community had the opportunity to present the achievements and draw attention to the challenges they face, share experiences about the evolution of mine action in the last two decades, as well as to discuss issues that are directly related to their work.
The Republic of Serbia ratified the Ottawa Convention on 18 September 2003, and the Convention came into force on 1 March 2004.
The Republic of Serbia no longer produces antipersonnel mines, and it completed destroying its stock pile of anti-personnel mines in 2007.
In accordance with Article 5 of the Convention, the Republic of Serbia is obliged to wholly clear its territory of mines up to March 2019.
Director of the Mine Action Centre Met with the US Ambassador, Slovenian Ambassador and ITF Director
On January 25, 2017, at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, a meeting was organized by ITF Enhancing Human Security, where Director of the Serbian Mine Action Centre, Mr Jovica Simonović, and his associates, Mr Dragiša Nikolić and Ms Slađana Košutić, met with the US Ambassador, H.E. Mr Kyle Scott and political counselor at the US Embassy, Mr John Bowermaster, Ambassador of Slovenia, H.E. Mr Vladimir Gasparič and ITF Director and Program Manager for Serbia, Mr Damjan Bergant and Mr Andrej Golob.
The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Acting Assistant Minister for Security Policy, H.E. Mr Branimir Filipović and Head of the Department of Arms Control and Military Co-Operation, Mr Milan Gojković.
During the meeting, the parties exchanged view on previous cooperation in the field of humanitarian demining in the Republic of Serbia, which was estimated as good and important.
All parties agreed that there is still a need, as well as willingness to put joint efforts, in the forthcoming period, into helping the Republic of Serbia solve the problems related to remaining mines, cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance.