Director’s Message

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Ken RutherfordIn September, I attended the First Review Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in Dubrovnik, Croatia, marking five years since the First Meeting of the States Parties to the CCM. Cuba announced that it was to start the accession process while Colombia announced that it had acceded to the CCM. Furthermore, It was reported that cluster munitions were used in five countries around the world in 2015 (Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen).

In this issue of The Journal, we keep our global lens wide, turning our attention to Eastern Europe, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Tajikistan. We have a fantastic selection of articles about the Middle East, including a timely article from Nikolaj Søndergaard on DanChurchAid’s (DCA) remote risk education program in Syria, in which DCA uses a network of journalists and activists to assess and tailor their risk education curriculum for the hard-to-reach populations in war-torn Syria. In addition, Tammy Hall, head of Danish Demining Group (DDG), outlines DDG’s collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council to integrate mine and explosive remnants of war risk education into existing humanitarian efforts in Iraq. And from MAG (Mines Advisory Group), Sean Sutton’s photographic essay depicts MAG’s operations in Lebanon, specifically with a female demining team.

For this issue’s Feature section, we focus on survivor assistance with an article from Reykhan Muminova (UNDP Support to Tajikistan Mine Action Programme) on Tajikistan’s progression toward signing the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as they address physical accessibility issues and build capacity for medical professionals in mine-affected areas while also increasing psychological support to landmine survivors and persons with disabilities. And Amir Mujanovic from Landmine Survivors Initiative (LSI) discusses LSI’s implementation of a three-pronged, peer-support assistance system to meet landmine survivors’ needs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It’s an exciting time here at CISR as we approach our twentieth anniversary. In recognition of the evolution and expansion in the field of mine action in the past 20 years, we are excited to announce that the title of The Journal will change to The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction beginning with issue 20.1 (Spring 2016). The change reflects our sector’s drive to combat the proliferation of illicit conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, in areas of the world suffering from violence and political instability. The Journal continues to be a clearing house of information for the humanitarian demining and conventional weapons destruction community as we work toward promoting peace, stability and economic development in post-conflict societies. c

Ken Rutherford