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Tirana Workshop on Achieving a Mine-Free South Eastern Europe

Tirana, 5 October 2009 – The Republic of Albania, with the support of the European Union, announces it is hosting The Tirana Workshop on a Mine-Free South Eastern Europe, from 7 to 9 October 2009. The Workshop is a regional event being held in advance of The Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World.

Participants in the workshop include high level representatives from mine-affected countries in South Eastern Europe. Other participants include landmine and unexploded ordnance survivors, donors, local, international and non-governmental organizations that have contributed to mine action in the region.

The purpose of the regional workshop is to analyze progress made and challenges remaining in Southeastern Europe regarding the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. The Convention bans anti-personnel mines and requires states that join the Convention to destroy all existing stocks, clear all mined areas and assist the survivors.

The workshop will also feature a parallel programme for victims' assistance experts which will highlight challenges and successes in addressing the rights and needs of mine survivors in the region. The programme will also include discussions on medical and physical rehabilitation, psychosocial support and economic empowerment of the survivors. 

Field Visit - Press Opportunity

On 7 October 2009, workshop participants and the press are invited on a field visit to Albania’s Kukes Region, the area most affected by anti-personnel mines in the country. The visit is an opportunity to see work being undertaken on behalf of mine survivors at the Kukes Regional Hospital. Participants will also get an update from district authorities and non-governmental organizations on mine action in the region.

The General Secretary of the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives from the European Union Presidency, and from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), will participate in the high level opening segment of the workshop. The workshop is set to begin 8 October 2009 at 09:00 at the Akernia Hall of the Tirana International Hotel.

The workshop is being coordinated by the Albanian Mine Action Executive (AMAE), with support from the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. AMAE is the national coordination and monitoring authority for Mine Action in Albania.

For further details on the Tirana Workshop please contact: Ms. Juliana Buzi, Programme Specialist,
Mobile: +355 69 20 66 991, Email: amaealbania(at)amae.org.al