The Slovenia Times

ITF Sees Much Work Ahead


Rutherford, the director of the US-based Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at the James Madison University in Virginia, said the public was unaware of the problem of mine victims, partly because the issue was not that exposed in the media.

Most issues regarding mines - from the ban on their use to the ban on exports - have been resolved, but the victims remain, and they are mostly civilians, Rutherford told the STA, saying that raising awareness about them was one of the key challenges for the future.

Rutherford, who has been working for international agencies in mine-infested areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kenya, Mauritania and Senegal, and lost his leg to a mine during his work in Somalia in 1993, highlighted the role of global movements and NGOs.

He also pointed to a new problem which will need to be addressed in the future - the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), especially in Iraq, Afghanistan and Colombia.

ITF director Dorijan Marsic said the fund's half-year report boast some great achievements, especially in demining activities in SE Europe, South Caucasus, central Asia and the Middle East.

Among future projects he underlined the disposal of ammunition stock. The ITF is also expanding its activities concerning human security and assistance to victims of conflicts, particularly in Libya, he added.

Between January and July 2011, the ITF received some EUR 6.5m in donations, which were spent on demining activities, probing of mine-infested territories, destruction of conventional weapons and assistance to mine victims.

More than a half of the money raised was allocated to demining activities in Bosnia, Croatia, Albania and other countries of SE Europe. The ITF plans to raise another EUR 11.6m by the end of the year.

Today's event was also addressed by Health Minister Dorijan Marusic, while ambassadors of donor countries and representatives of organisations which cooperate with the ITF were in attendance.


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