In 1988 The HALO Trust was credited with coining the term “humanitarian demining” as it differentiated military demining in Afghanistan from efforts designed specifically to reduce the ongoing threat to civilians, livelihoods, communities, and public infrastructure in terms of post-war reconstruction. Since then, many donor governments began to shift policy and programming to reflect this distinction. As but one example, the U.S. established an inter-agency Humanitarian Demining Program in 1993, which included the Agency for International Develop (USAID). Unfortunately, for many years the demining and development assistance communities proceeded more along parallel tracks, acknowledging each other and vectoring off to intersect situationally, but without formal policy supporting more regular and efficacious alignment. In spite of some efforts to create bridgeheads on each side, the spans connecting HMA and development assistance communities have not been adequately built. For example, the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention laid the foundation for such relationships, but no references to economic growth and development were made in the original 1999 Maputo Declaration nor in the ensuing 2014 Review Conference. On the other side, the two most significant recent policy declarations and global development campaigns also did not associate HMA with the 2000 Millennium Development Goals, nor in the follow-on 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The article points out that some applied research reports from 2016 and 2017 do provide a foundation for operationalizing the 2019 Oslo Review Conference’s recognition of this synergy, and it provides an argument for not only why both communities need one another in order to meet their respective lofty and necessary objectives, but it also suggests some changes the HMA community will need to make in order to continue to evolve and thrive in the next decade.
Rasmussen, Ph.D., Lewis
"Whither HMA Policy: Linking HMA and Development Assistance,"
The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction: Vol. 24
, Article 3.
Available at: https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cisr-journal/vol24/iss1/3