Memorandum on Cooperation between ITF and Colombia
International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) hosted 19th Session of the Board of Advisers, at its premises in Ig. ITF presented the results of its activities for the period between 1 January and 31 July 2007 and plan for 2008.
At Ceremony following the meeting Deputy Ambassador of Embassy of Colombia in Vienna Mr. Ciro Alfonso Arevalo Yepes and Director of ITF, Mr. Goran Ga?nik solemnly exchanged signed copies of Memorandum on Cooperation, which defines ways of cooperation on the field of Mine Action with emphasis on Mine Victims Assistance.
Initiative for the cooperation between ITF and Colombian Observatory for antipersonnel mines (Agency set up under Office of Vice-president of the Republic of Colombia) came from Foreign Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Dimitrij Rupel during the official visit of Foreign Minister of the Republic of Colombia Mrs. Caroline Barco Isakson in May 2005.
Colombia falls among countries with the highest rate of mine victims in the world, due to 40 years long internal conflict. Just in year 2005 Colombia recorded a significant increase in casualties: 1.110, or approximately three casualties per day.
ITF would like to actively contribute to eradication of landmine problem in Colombia together with its partners and donors and specially support the efforts of rehabilitation, providing training and equipment to rehabilitation staff and institutions, in providing mine risk education programs as a preventive measure in mine action and above all provide quality treatment (physical and psycho-social) and prostheses to mine survivors in Colombia.
ITF shall remain focused on work in the regions of South East Europe and South Caucasus in spite its expanded scope of operations. During the meeting director of ITF stated: "Slovenian government established ITF with the purpose to help solving mine problem in the region of South East Europe, nevertheless all initiatives for cooperation where ITF can contribute with its experience and expertise are more than welcomed and desired".