CHDE 2017 ©
April 4, the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
The Republic of Armenia (RoA) faces a long-term threat from
landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). One of the
government’s declared priorities since 2013 is to create
conditions for the population of Armenia to be impact-free from
such threats. With appropriate resources, it is possible to
mitigate the threat over a ten-year period.
Humanitarian Mine Action activities were first implemented in
the Republic of Armenia in 2002 under the decree issued by the
Defence Minister Serzh Sargsyan who is currently the President
of the RoA. Until 2007 Mine Action Activities in Armenia were mainly funded by the United
States Government and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Later on in 2011, February
17 “Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise” (CHDE) civilian State Non-commercial
Organisation (SNCO) was established under the decree 143-N issued by the Government of the
Republic of Armenia.
Armenia has not signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and
Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction yet. However, Armenia considers the
Convention as an important step towards the total elimination of an entire category of excessively
injurious conventional weapons and believes that the simultaneous accession of the South
Caucasian countries to the Convention will ensure the effectiveness of the Convention and
reciprocally reduce the security threat perception of the regional countries.
CHDE is the authorised National Humanitarian Mine Action Authority (NMAA) that reports to
the Ministry of Defence. Following the NTS, the CHDE/FSD devised and adopted the National
Mine Action Standards, that will be used to implement a ten-year strategy. The strategy includes a
public education element of the threats and a victim assistance component. Efficiency in co-
ordinating and directing HMA operations requires CHDE to ensure a realistic Land Release policy
is further developed and combined with Standard Working Procedures (SWP) so that a uniform
Quality Management System (QMS) can be applied.
Implementing a national strategy involves a wide group of stakeholders that CHDE collaborates
with in technical advisory roles, implementation and financial support. These include Foundation
Suisse de Deminage (FSD), ICRC, US European Command, GICHD, HALO Trust, NATO Support
Agency, OSCE, US Embassy to Armenia, US State Department PM WRA, Japan Embassy to
Armenia and potentially others. This is in conjunction with the many national stakeholders from
community level through to the relevant ministries. FSD continues to work in an advisory and
survey role and HALO Trust is implementing clearance operations in conjunction with the
Armenian Armed Forces. In 2013, the Foundation for Demining and Demolition (FDD) was
established to be the long-term Armenian implementer for HMA, so reducing the medium-term
requirement for international technical and advisory support.
A Non-Technical Survey of the landmine contamination was conducted by FSD in conjunction
with the Armenian Centre for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise reporting the findings in
May 2013. Four Marzes (Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Tavush and Gegharkunik) were found to be
impacted with a total of 47.000 square metres (47km2). Within which there were 114 Confirmed
Hazardous Areas (CHA) and a further 17 Suspect Hazardous Areas (SHA). The NTS report has
allowed CHDE to prioritise clearance plans according to the impact on individual communities.
The Peacekeeping Engineering Battalion of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia is
currently the only national HMA clearance capacities in the country. The operations of HALO are
financially supported by the US State Department PM/WRA. CHDE and FSD are working to
maximise the efficiency of clearance operations to meet a ten-year strategy. Armenia supports the
activities funded by donors with any possible resources. For instance, last year the contribution of
Armenia to the activities conducted within the US State Department PM WRA’s Grant Program
was 75.000.000 Armenian Drams (AMD) in the form of professional deminers, uniform, fuel, food,
other supplies, etc.
Releasing land and clearing landmines is not a matter of compliance to Treaty only, thus
important. It is to make sure that our people in our country can move in safety, and establish the
base for development.
Armenia needs development, and development brings stability, which the country and the region
On 8 December 2005, the United Nations General Assembly declared 4 April of each year shall be
observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Thus, we
think this day is the right day to bring the attention of the international community to the needs of
Armenia in addressing and illuminating the impact of landmines, which is the purpose of the
Stakeholder Briefing. Therefore, we call upon the international community to assist us in achieving
this ambitious yet achievable goal: a safe Armenia for everyone.
Closing Ceremony of Mine Risk Education Program
The closing ceremony of Mine Risk Education program,
organized in the frameworks of “Grant Assistance for Grassroots
Human Security Projects” financed by the Japanese Government
was held in the lobby of Moscow cinema on 25th of April, 2017.
The Project was launched on March of 2016 and lasted till April
of 2017. Within the frameworks of the project 18000 MRE
(Mine Risk Education) booklets and 5 types of 7500 MRE
thematic posters have been elaborated and published. Thematic
posters were distributed and posted in 1393 schools in the
Republic of Armenia. Afterwards the teachers (around 2500 teacher) passed MRE trainings,
conducted by MRE professionals. The aim of the trainings was to enable teachers to deliver the
correct information to the children and to be able to answer their questions comprehensively.
Through booklets distributed among the students from 14 universities, the youth of our country
received comprehensive information on landmine / UXO risks and the basic steps of save behavior
to avoid it.
The event was attended by the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Japan to Armenia
Eiji Taguchi, Colonel, U.S. Army Senior Defense Official Defense & Army Attache Bruce Murphy,
Major, US Army Chief, Office of Defense Cooperation John Friel, Deputy Minister of Defense,
Head of CHDE Board Ara Nazaryan, Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations, CHDE SNCO
Board Member David Karapetyan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and
Development of RA, CHDE SNCO Board Member Artur Khachatryan, the representative of the
International Red Cross Pharamdeep Mtharu, Director of Croatian Red Cross Zagreb Branch Petar
Penava, Co-Director Ivica Golubich, the President of “Croatia Helps” association Jurja Adleshich,
Representative of Armenian Red Cross company and other officials.
During the ceremony the following persons made speeches: FSD representative and Head of CHDE
Mine Risk Education and Victim Assistance Department Anna Aslanyan, the Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Japan to Armenia H.E. Eiji Taguchi, Director of Croatian Red Cross
Zagreb Branch Petar Penava, Deputy Minister of Defense and Head of CHDE Board Ara Nazaryan.
The speakers appreciated the activities implemented by FSD and the CHDE SNCO's, as well as
support of the Government of Japan to Armenia in regards of reducing the threat of landmines and
teaching teenagers about safe behavior. The exhibition, launched after the official part, will be
held till 27th of April of this year.
The Visit of Croatian Mine Action Center Delegation to Armenia
The Croatian Mine Action Center (CROMAC) Delegation made
a visit to Armenia from July 14 to 16, 2015. The CROMAC
delegation got to know the staff of the Center of Humanitarian
Demining and Expertise, its implemented and upcoming
activities, goals and achievements.
The meeting was marked by signing the Memorandum of
Cooperation by the Heads of both Centers. The Memorandum
will give an opportunity to hold exchange of experience,
professional trainings between two centers and commence a close cooperation in Mine Risk
Education and Victim Assistance.