Minister for Foreign Affairs Announces Funding for International Disarmament Projects
Dermot Ahern T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs, today announced funding totaling €115,000 for international disarmament projects. The four initiatives are demining and landmine awareness, chemical weapons destruction and combating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.
A breakdown of the funding is as follows:
• €15,000 to the Geneva Process on Small Arms. Run by the Geneva Forum, the funding will go towards bringing together Governments, international organisations and NGOs to promote and monitor the 2001 UN “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All of its Aspects”.
• €20,000 to the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL). This organisation led the campaign on banning landmines which culminated in the Ottawa Convention. Today ICBL monitors and comprehensively reports on international progress in demining and highlights the work that still remains to be done.
• €50,000 to the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). This organisation focuses on all aspects of mine action, including mine clearance, socio-economic effects, stockpile destruction and victim assistance. Part of the funding (€15,000), will facilitate the participation of officials from developing countries at landmine meetings.
• €30,000 to the G8 Global Partnership. Ireland's contribution will go towards assisting Russia with its chemical weapon destruction programme, specifically towards a project at the Schchuch'ye Chemical Weapons Decontamination and Destruction facility in Siberia.
Announcing the funding the Minister said that it underlines Ireland's commitment to international disarmament issues.
“Ireland has a long and proud history in disarmament and with the funding today, I am confident that it will help these organisations carry out their important work in ensuring that the international community is aware of the horrific suffering caused by landmines and the thousands of young and innocent civilians who are killed annually as a result of illegal trafficking of weapons to conflict zones”
On the funding for chemical weapon destruction he added,
“The potential of weapons of mass destruction to destroy our world demands more effective and urgent actions towards their elimination. The international community must strengthen their efforts to prevent their further proliferation and the danger that these weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists”.
28 December 2005