Italy Leads Delegation of Mine Action Donors to Lebanon Naqoura, 18 May 2017 - Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Italian Mission to the United Nations, led a delegation of mine action donors to Lebanon from May 15 to 17, 2017. The mission was an initiative of the Mine Action Support Group (MASG), a coalition of Member State donors committed to raising funds and awareness for mine action activities where they are needed most. Italy serves as the current Chair of the MASG. "Italy remains fully engaged in pursuing the objective of a mine free world and in preserving stability in this part of the world. Italy contributes to humanitarian mine action in many countries and we continue to be the largest European contributor with over a 1,000 troops in UNIFIL, and other UN peacekeeping operations. Lebanon was an ideal country for the MASG to visit as it has a strong national authority committed to humanitarian mine action, plus a peacekeeping element that is also very involved in mine action," Ambassador Lambertini stated.
With the support of the Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the trip provided an opportunity for MASG members to observe mine action activities and discuss relevant issues. The Ambassador was accompanied by a delegation representing the United States, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the European Union, France, ITF Enhancing Security, the LMAC, and the United Nations. Highlights of the very full agenda included a tour of the new LMAC Regional School for Humanitarian Demining in Hammana, a meeting with LMAC risk education partners and local children, and a briefing and demining demonstration by UNMAS and the Chinese Multi-role Engineering Unit in UNIFIL.
The MASG brings together Member States and stakeholders that ensure a coherent response to mine affected countries and regions around the world. “Italy is a longstanding partner of UNMAS and has been an active and innovative Chair of the MASG. This MASG visit is an excellent initiative that improves the exchange of information and leads to a common understanding among mine action donors," stated Agnes Marcaillou, Director of UNMAS. "This is a great benefit to UNMAS and will increase the positive impact of our field operations,” she added.
For further information: Kurt Chesko, UNMAS Donor Relations Officer, New York, email@example.com
Sarah Holland, UNMAS Lebanon Programme Officer, Naqoura, firstname.lastname@example.org