Cranfield joins the UN fight against land mines

July 27, 2000

Cranfield University at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, will be launching a groundbreaking and vitally important new course on Wednesday August 2, to an audience of guests from the United Nations (UN) and government.

The course, the first if its kind, is an eight week management programme for local land mine action managers. It is being run by the Cranfield Humanitarian Mine Action Unit (CMA) and run on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funding from the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID).

Land mines are currently buried in more than 70 countries worldwide and claim around 1250 new victims each month. Much effort has been focused on trying to find a technical solution to the problem. However, such a breakthrough is unlikely in the foreseeable future. The UN has recognised this and placed greater emphasis on improving the way mine clearance is managed using existing resources.

With funding from the British and American governments this management training initiative has been launched. The CMA has been the focus of the development of the humanitarian de-mining programmes for the past 18 months.

Mike McAlpine Director of CMA said, "We at Cranfield University are delighted to have been given the opportunity to help mine affected countries overcome the scourge of land mines. This should eventually eliminate the need for expensive resident technical advisors that currently help to manage the de-mining programmes, thereby aiding long term sustainable development of mine affected countries; a primary aim of the United Nations."

The course will consist of 16 delegates from 14 different mine affected countries.
Ian Mansfield, Director of the United Nations Development Programme branch responsible for mine action, is flying in from New York to address the course on Wednesday August 2. The Commandant of the Royal Military College of Science, Major General John Sutherell CBE will also be attending to welcome the delegates to the College.

Editors Note: Any press wishing to be present at the launch are asked to contact the press office in order to obtain a security pass.

Cranfield University

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