The Director of the Lebanon Mine Action Center Brig General Ziad Nasr attended the 7MSP to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) that took place from 4 to 6 September 2017 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The 7MSP, presided by Germany, marked the second formal meeting of the Convention after the adoption of the Dubrovnik Action Plan, a five-year action (2015-2020) plan that provides a roadmap for States Parties to implement and universalize the Convention. Around 400 participants from States, international and non-governmental organizations took part in this meeting that aimed to take stock of the implementation of the CCM’s steering action plan.
In this occasion, Brigadier General Ziad Nasr delivered three consecutive speeches, highlighting Lebanon`s achievements in terms of mine action as well as the endless work to meet its obligations under the CCM convention.
In the first session, Brig General Ziad Nasr shed light on the history of mines problem in Lebanon and the tireless efforts to lessen the impact of mines and cluster munitions. In this context, Brig General Nasr drew the attention of the international community to the effect of the escalation of the Syrian crisis on inflating the Lebanese population and thus putting more people at risk of mines. Speaking of the Lebanon Mine Action Center`s achievements, there was a need to highlight Lebanon`s endeavor in developing national mine action standards, along with national and international partners, and striving to update these standards in line with the IMAS. Furthermore, the center `s success was also marked by the prominent initiatives taken to promote behavioral change among impacted communities designated by set of mine risk awareness sessions and campaigns. These sessions and awareness campaigns was taken in collaboration with national and international partners highlighting UNIFIL`s active participation in these campaigns. In the scope of clearance operations, the center achieved important progress in clearing about 45 million meters square of the CBU contaminated land leaving about 18 million meters square of remaining contaminated land.
On the second session, Brig General Ziad Nasr spoke of the center`s mine victims assistance achievements in terms of Dubrovnik Action Plan. Referring to the 4th clause in this action plan on the importance of building the national capacities in the provision of mine victims assistance, Brig General Nasr highlighted the following achievements:
On behalf Ministry of National Defense, the center is supervising the National Mine Victims Steering Committee that encompasses of representatives of national and international mine action actors and representatives of ministries especially Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Social affairs.
The Lebanon Mine Action Center reinforced the implementation of the law 2000/220 to grant mine victims their rights in the society.
Despite of constraint resources, the center in collaboration with MVA steering committee developed several reintegration and rehabilitation programs that provided mine victims with grants to startup their new business.
Integrating mine victims with the national health development program related to the MOPH and MOSA.
Updating IMSMA on a continuous basis as a mean of expediting the process of tracking mine victim assistance.
Brig General concluded his second speech by clarifying that the center is committed to bringing surgeons on board and assisting mine victims to regain their proper life.
In his third speech, Brig General Ziad Nasr reassured on the center`s commitment to participate in all of the workshops and trainings that have the purpose of further developing the center`s capacity to handle its mine action program. In this context, the center, in collaboration with GICHD hosted two workshops, the first workshop named “Strategic Planning for Mine Action” and second workshop named “Mobilizing Resources for Mine Action Program”. These workshops in addition to other workshops contributed to the development of set of knowledge and skills and several initiatives including the establishment of the Regional School For humanitarian Demining in Lebanon in Hammana Mount Lebanon which is in the process of being fully rehabilitated and equipped after securing the necessary funds. The school will deliver set of trainings and workshops that will enhance the trainee’s knowledge of humanitarian demining. Brig General Nasr ended his speech by recommending the importance of standing with Lebanon and increasing the level of support to help Lebanon meet its obligation before 2020-2021.
The 7MSP provided an opportunity for Lebanon as well as States Parties to present progresses, challenges, plans and needs for assistance and cooperation to achieve their convention obligations and the commitments they made under the 2015 Dubrovnik Action Plan (DAP) and the Dubrovnik declaration.
At the end of the 7MSP, States Parties adopted a political declaration. Through which States Parties commit to fully implement all of their individual and collective outstanding obligations in partnership with the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Cluster Munitions Coalition and other non-governmental organizations, with an aim to implement all before 2030.