In 2020, the GICHD continued providing its services to national and international partners, with the ultimate goal of reducing risk from explosive ordnance and making communities safe. Faced with the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre put much effort into adapting to the new context and ensuring the delivery of its services through remote means. This process paid off to a significant extent and proved the Centre’s flexibility and adaptability, whilst also generating lessons that are still being evaluated and that will influence its future way of operating.
Meanwhile, the GICHD reached the mid-term of its strategy 2019-2022, consolidating its traditional areas of work, but also developing new programmes. For example, the need for the GICHD to support affected states in developing strategic plans to address mineaction challenges has grown exponentially. Thus, in 2020, the GICHD decided to strengthen its strategic planning programme and reinforce the team. Also, the Centre worked towards enabling a more coherent approach to the delivery of projects at country level, ensuring in particular the correct timing and sequencing between the development and adoption of national standards and the operational follow-up, such as training.
In 2020, particular attention and efforts have been devoted to the roll-out of the GICHD Ammunition Management Advisory Team in response to requests for technical assistance to states in the safe and secure management of ammunition, to the integration of gender and diversity dimensions throughout all activities of the Centre and to the further study of linkages between mine action and sustainable development. Mine action is a precondition and a catalyst for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, such as those related to poverty reduction, food security, education, health and gender equality. It is therefore essential for national authorities to integrate mine action into their broader national efforts related to humanitarian action, peace building and development.
Mine action is needed more than ever. At the GICHD, we are convinced that through the combination of political will, international solidarity and the implementation of good practices, a world in which societies can thrive free from explosive ordnance is possible and within reach.
Dr Barbara Haering GICHD President
Ambassador Stefano Toscano GICHD Director