Switzerland: New Plan on Mine Action 2023–2026

Switzerland: New Plan on Mine Action 2023–2026


Switzerland is continuing its long-standing commitment to humanitarian mine action. In the new action plan, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) jointly set out three fields of action with goals and measures for the years 2023–26. The plan focuses not only on implementing the relevant conventions and support for the clearance of contaminated areas, but also on innovative approaches. In addition, Switzerland will provide targeted support to Ukraine in the coming years.

Switzerland has been involved in mine action for more than 30 years. Thanks to international efforts, great progress has been made in this area. Over 30 states have been completely cleared of mines and in ten countries, all remnants of cluster munitions have been removed. Nevertheless, mines and other explosive remnants of war such as unexploded ordnance still kill and injure thousands of people every year. Switzerland’s goal is a world in which people can live without these risks, thus enabling sustainable economic and social development.

The FDFA and the DDPS are therefore pursuing activities in three areas of humanitarian mine action over the next four years. First, Switzerland is promoting the normative framework and advocating the implementation of the relevant agreements and their adoption worldwide. Second, it is supporting affected states directly on the ground: through project financing and the deployment of experts, Switzerland is increasing the safety of affected populations, enabling a sustainable development free of mines and strengthening national capacities. Third, Switzerland is capitalising on the opportunities offered by innovative approaches, promoting international mine action standards and the judicious use of new technologies.

Support for Ukraine

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine is causing widespread contamination by mines and other explosive ordnance. Switzerland is already supporting Ukraine in humanitarian mine action, particularly in cooperation with partner organisations such as the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD). The Federal Council’s 2023 aid package for Ukraine also includes support for humanitarian mine action. Switzerland’s new action plan will expand humanitarian mine action in Ukraine over the next few years.

The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action takes place on 4 April. Switzerland is taking this day as an opportunity to publish its new action plan, which is a follow-up measure to its Arms Control and Disarmament Strategy 2022–25. The action plan replaces the Mine Action Strategy of the Swiss Confederation 2016–22.

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