Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

16th Annual Mine Action National Directors and UN Advisors Meeting

Statement by Australia

11 April 2013

Thank you Madame Chair

Australia is past the mid-point of implementing its five-year Mine Action Strategy 2010 – 2014 for the Australian aid program.

The Strategy supports the achievement of Australia’s obligations under international instruments that aim to reduce the threat of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war and includes a $100 million commitment.

An independent Mid-Term Review of the Mine Action Strategy (2012) found that the Strategy remained relevant and consistent with Australia’s overall aid priorities and approach.

The Review concluded that the Strategy is being successfully implemented and making good progress against all four of its outcomes, they being:

The main areas for consideration and implementation arising from the Review can be categorized into those that concern Australia’s funding approach, geographic focus and future strategy. Implementation of the review recommendations is underway. Other recommendations will be used to inform a future mine action strategy.

Since signing the Mine Ban Convention in 1997, Australia has made three multi-year financial pledges which reflect a steady increase in Australia’s mine action support:

Australia’s average contribution under the current strategy is approximately $20 million per year.

Australia achieved its $100 million commitment to mine action late 2012 some two years ahead of schedule. Despite reaching its commitment, Australia will continue to support and fund mine action programs until a new strategy and commitment are developed.

Australia’s mine action funding is drawn from multiple sources, including bilateral, humanitarian and disability budgets. Over 80% of Australia’s funding is drawn from bilateral (country) aid budgets (primarily Afghanistan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Laos).
To complement mine action supported through bilateral programs, Australia has a global mine action program drawn from its humanitarian budget. The global mine action program supports global mine action including advocacy, research, universalization, coordination, monitoring and evaluation and victim assistance.
Through country programs, Australia is currently supporting mine action in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Chad, Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Palau.

Through our global mine action program we are currently supporting core global mine action work of the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled and the ICRC Special Mine Action Appeal, the United Nations Mine Action Service, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Geneva Call, the Mines Advisory Group and the ICBL/CMC.

Australia’s mine action assistance focuses on the most heavily affected countries in the Asia–Pacific region, while maintaining the flexibility to respond to other emerging needs and priorities.

Australia is working to ensure that its mine action assistance is effective and has maximum impact. We are doing this by:

Preparations are underway for a successor mine action strategy which would likely cover the period 2015 to 2019. The scope of the new strategy will take account of the expanding scope of mine action and may include Australia’s action on armed violence reduction. Consultations on the draft strategy are expected to take place late 2013. We look forward to ongoing discussions with the mine action sector and appreciate any views on how we can become a more effective aid donor.

Thank you.