Presentation of the GICHD [fr]
The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining was officially created in 1999 and is one of the major contributions of Switzerland to the fight against antipersonnel mines on the global stage. The purpose of the Centre is to bring decision-making elements for the management of demining projects to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), “focal point” of the UN actions against mines. Since its creation, the GICHD tasks have expanded, and its links with Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) and other actors of the fight against mines developed, simultaneously to service offering for UNMAS.
The IMSMA (Information Management System for Mine Action) represents the core of the GICHD. This information management system enables the dissemination and the sharing of information useful to the implementation and the management of mine elimination programs and policies.
Considered as a kind of Staff available to the United Nations and the international community, it enriches itself with specialists having an in-depth experience of mines combat programs management. The Centre is able to offer both contributor countries and concerned populations a global approach of the combat against mines, guaranteeing a high return on investment, with a significant impact on helped populations. The Centre provides the relevant elements for the implementation of awareness programs, of mines removal, of rehabilitation of victims and affected zones, in cooperation with non-governmental and international organisations.
The Director of the Centre is Mr Stefano Toscano. The staff of the Centre regroups about thirty people.
France supports the action of the Centre since its creation and is a member of its Foundation Council. This support is especially materialized with the provision of the Centre, for three years, of a General Officer and with the establishment of a cooperation Convention between the Centre and the Angers Engineering School (ESAG), specialized in the French army. With the support of France, a cooperation has also been implemented between the GICHD, the ESAG and the Post-Conflict Mine Clearance and Decontamination Training Centre in Ouidah (Benin).