17th International Symposium MINE ACTION 2021 took place from June 16th to 18th 2021 in        Wyndham Grand Hotel Novi Vinodolski Resort.

Participants from 18 countries were greeted by the director of HCR-CTRO d.o.o. Katarina Markt and by OSCE Ambassador to the PCU Henrik Villadsen, co-organizer of the 17th nternational Symposium “Mine Action 2021”. Assistant Minister Damir Trut as envoy of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and Ante Deur, envoy of the President of the Croatian Parliament, gave introductory speeches and officially opened the 17th International Symposium.

This year’s first day discussions were focused on mine action system models and quality management in mine action.

Establishing a mine action system is the biggest challenge of any country facing the mine problem and explosive remnants of war, it was concluded after discussions and presentations held on the first panel. It was also pointed out that the international community has prepared guidelines as a possible model for establishing a mine action system and that it is up to each country to build its own system that will be efficient and stimulating for donors.

The final topic and panel discussion of the first day – Quality Management in Mine Action, concluded that for security and sustainable development of modern society is crucial to recognize and identify threats that were became the part of our everyday life. Furthermore, it was concluded that the continuous development and improvement of tools and processes for risk identification and assessment, create the preconditions for successful risk management, and thus quality management in mine action.

The second day began with presentations on the topic of Modern technologies in mine action, after which it was concluded that the biggest challenge is to present modern technology and new developments in any national system, more precisely to those who need to decide on the use and inclusion in operational processes and those who will use them. Furthermore, acquisition of new knowledge is becoming increasingly important in mine action and it becomes a prerequisite for the adaptation of the organization to new requirements for improving efficiency.

Interesting presentations were followed by a virtual demonstration of the testing of demining machines by the HRC-Center for Testing, Development and Training, which was held by the test manager Ivan Žanić.

The second day ended with a very interesting panel discussion entitled “Mine Action Funding Possibilities”, which emphasized that good plans and a good mine action strategy are a prerequisite for withdrawal of funds and project implementation. ITF Ambassador Tomaž Lovrenčič and Yaroslav Yurtsaba, on behalf of the OSCE PCU, concluded that only a quality partnership with donors guarantees the sustainability of the project, and through the visibility component of the project it is necessary to enable and encourage donors to actively participate throughout the project.

The 17th International Symposium concluded with presentations under the title Mine action impact on development, economic, energy, transportation and infrastructure, which concluded that demining should, above all, provide security and positively impact economic development of society.

Some hundred participants who, despite the global pandemic, supported this year’s symposium with their presence, had the opportunity to exchange experience, discuss solutions to technical and  managerial challenges and were offered an insight into latest technologies, equipment and available methods in mine action.

The Symposium was organized by the Croatian Mine Action Centre – Centre for Testing, Development and Training in cooperation with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE Project Co-Ordinator in Ukraine) and under the patronage of the  Croatian Parliament.

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