Parliament supports Switzerland’s pledge to assist Ukraine with mine clearing


The Swiss Parliament wishes to reaffirm its commitment to clearing mines in Ukraine. On Monday, the Senate likewise approved an identical proposal from the Social Democratic Party, following the House of Representatives.Without a dissenting vote, the Senate granted the motion. The House of Representatives must now consider the proposal once more because it had been modified in one area.

The motion, as proposed by the Social Democratic Party, specifically asks the Defense Ministry to collaborate with organizations operating in conflict zones to create an international mine clearing program. According to the proposal, Switzerland must additionally give the initiative “significant financial and personnel support.”The request was approved by the Federal Council. It responded by pointing out that demining operations in Switzerland were already underway. The requisite resources and capabilities are possessed by the army and the Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GIHCD), located in Switzerland.

Courses in mine removal have been organized in Switzerland and Ukraine by the defense ministry and GIHCD. Additionally, the foreign ministry finances the Geneva-based Swiss Foundation for Demining (FSD), an organization that operates internationally.By a vote of ten to one, with one abstention, the Senate Security Policy Committee approved the measure. It did, however, add a clause to the motion’s wording saying that, if feasible, the federal government should give preference to Swiss firms engaged in mine clearance. The motion will now be decided by the House of Representatives.

According to Charles Juillard, spokesman for the commission, Ukraine is the nation most contaminated with mines worldwide. The Ukrainian government estimates that landmines and munitions remains have polluted almost 40% of the nation’s terrain.Viola Amherd, the minister of defense, called the Senate committee’s amendment needless. Demining activities were already being carried out by her department and the foreign ministry, for instance through collaboration with the Digger Foundation in canton Bern, which creates and manufactures mine removal equipment. It doesn’t alter anything about what we do, according to Amherd.

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