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Centers and Organizations, ITF, Annual Report, 2006, Stockpile Destruction, Mine Actio
There is a significant public and political awareness of the mine problem in South East Europe (SEE) and the enormous impact that landmines have on safety, as well as on the humanitarian, economic and environmental development of the region. Slovenian Government has recognized its role in the SEE region 9 years ago by establishing the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF). With its contribution of more than 4,9 million USD, Slovenia has greatly contributed to the increased stability and safer environment in the region of SEE.
Since the start ITF has grown into an internationally recognized organization, supported by donations by more than 27 governments around the world and many other organizations, companies and individuals. ITF is now firmly set on the path to its main goal – South East Europe free of mines. With full cooperation of the local authorities in all the countries of South East Europe, as well as international organizations and donors, ITF is optimistic that the maintenance of peace, reintegration of refugees/returnees and internally displaced persons, revitalization and economic development of SEE can become a reality.
Extensive experience and practice in Mine Action that has been accumulating in ITF for the past 9 years on one hand and successful operations and progress in the countries of SEE on the other, carried to decision to expand its activities also into other mine affected countries and regions. Lessons learned from regional cooperation through South East Europe Mine Action Coordination Council (SEEMACC) are being presented also to the representatives from other mine affected regions in order to apply positive approaches and to contribute to effectiveness, transparency, better use of resources and finally to confidence building between neighbouring countries.
Finally, 2006 was a good year for ITF, not only in terms of fundraising, where ITF succeeded to raise more than 30 million USD, but also on the national, regional and international level. Therefore, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for all the contributions and stakeholders’ cooperation with the ITF. And at the end,even though it probably goes without saying, allow me to express my gratitude to the arduous and enthusiastic ITF team for all their efforts. Only together the goals set can become a reality.