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Ukraine presents draft Strategy, plans and needs for 2024 at a meeting of the Sectoral Working Group on Mine Action

На другому засіданні секторальної робочої групи з протимінної діяльності підвели проміжні підсумки та обговорили плани на майбутнє

The draft National Mine Action Strategy, preliminary results of work in 2023, plans and needs of Ukraine in the field of mine action (MA) for the next year were the main topics of discussion at the second meeting of the Sectoral Working Group on Mine Action on 7 December in Kyiv.

The meeting was attended by representatives of about three dozen donor countries and international organisations cooperating with Ukraine in the field of mine action, as well as Ukrainian government agencies – the Ministries of Economy, Defence, Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and the State Emergency Service. The meeting was co-chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine Denise Brown and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Kuninori Matsuda.

During the meeting, Yuliia Svyrydenko briefed the participants on the progress in the area of humanitarian demining achieved in the two months since the first meeting of the group.

According to First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Economy, Ukraine, together with its partners, held the International Donors’ Conference on Humanitarian Demining, during which donors announced their commitments to assist Ukraine. The certification of mine action operators is actively underway – 18 operators have already been certified, and more than 30 are undergoing certification. A draft comprehensive National Mine Action Strategy is at the final stage of development.

“The plan for non-technical surveys is also being implemented at a high pace. And at the moment, about 50,000 square kilometres have been covered by such surveys, while 45,000 square kilometres were planned. Another positive aspect is that since September – the time of our last meeting – additional 50,000 hectares of agricultural land have been inspected and 37,000 hectares have been returned to productive use,” Yuliia Svyrydenko noted.

In his turn, Deputy Minister of Economy Ihor Bezkaravainyi focused on the Government’s plans in the area of mine action.

“As the Ministry of Economy, we want to tie all our further efforts in clearing the territories to the impact on GDP – so that our work creates a positive and real effect on the economy and reduces the impact of mine contamination on people, to prevent new incidents and protect people where they have already occurred,” Ihor Bezkaravainyi said.

According to Deputy Minister, specific practical areas of work have been identified for the coming year. These include creating a transparent market for demining services. Digitalisation of the sector, regulation of information and process management. Stimulating national production in the field of mine clearance. Finally, coordination of resources to ensure that they are prioritised.

During the meeting, the draft National Mine Action Strategy developed in cooperation with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, the United Nations Development Programme and other international partners with the support of the European Union and the Howard Buffett Foundation was presented to international partners. Discussing the document, the participants of the meeting welcomed the approaches proposed in the draft Strategy.

At the meeting of the Sectoral Working Group on Mine Action, representatives of the Ministries of Economy, Defence, and Internal Affairs also presented the priorities and needs for the next year.

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