On July 17th 2000, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden,
the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the International Test and Evaluation Program for Humanitarian Demining (ITEP).
On the 14th of June 2002 Germany also became a member of ITEP by signing the MoU.
On the 4th of July 2006 the European Commission ended its membership in ITEP due to changing priorities in their strategy and related work plan. On the 7th of September 2007 the United Kingdom also ended its ITEP membership because of other priorities in their Mine Action Policy.
ITEP's mission is to develop standards, coordinate and perform tests of materials and methods, and spread information about the results to all
other interested parties. ITEP will by this means contribute to the resolution
of the global landmine problem through impacting the acquisition process towards better, safer, and more cost-effective equipment and methods.
Co-utilization of resources and expertise from participating ITEP countries
will allow allocated resources to be used more efficiently, thus contributing
to improvement of global humanitarian demining programs.
ITEP's aim is to increase efforts within global demining through generating, collecting,and distributing objective, independent, scientifically based test and evaluation data on humanitarian demining materials, systems, and methods.
Through its members, ITEP constitutes a global network of test and evaluation resources for humanitarian demining. Activities within ITEP are as follows:
- Develop and use universally accepted and respected standards for test and evaluation methodology.
- Collect, generate, and distribute robust, scientifically objective data on technologies, materials, and systems for humanitarian demining.
- Establish a responsive and cost-effective international test and evaluation program.
- Perform tests and evaluation of:
- existing humanitarian demining equipment and systems
- equipment and systems in development
- promising technologies, processes, and algorithms.
A multinational, scientific and technological partnership for humanitarian demining has been created through ITEP. The results will benefit communities engaged in humanitarian demining all over the world, including:
- The United Nations
- Various governmental and non-governmental organizations,
- Mine-affected states
- Donor institutions
- Demining industry
ITEP is entirely voluntary and open to all nations. Those who wish to join must have the will, resources, and technical capability to contribute to ITEP's overarching objectives. ITEP is also open to involvement by international organizations having relevant and established test and evaluation capacity that are willing to contribute test resources, capacity, and data on an ongoing basis.
No joint economic resources are established within ITEP. Each member will fund its own activities, which may be entirely national or in cooperation with one or more ITEP members. Another way to contribute to the program is for instance to make a perhaps unique test facility available for ITEP tests, even if the nation where the facility is located is not directly involved in the project.
The driving force of ITEP comes from the will of the members to achieve better conditions for humanitarian demining, but there is also a management structure, wherein all decisions shall be taken by consensus.
The Board of Directors meets once a year. Each nation will have one vote but may appoint three directors. The Board of Directors takes decisions about ITEP policy and new members.
The Executive Committee meets twice a year and is made up of one representative from each member state. The Executive Committee makes operational decisions within ITEP. If the Executive Committee is unable to reach consensus, the matter has to be referred to the Board of Directors.
The ITEP Secretariat is the only common resource within ITEP. The Executive Committee manages the Secretariat. The Secretariat was initially located at the EU Commission Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy. Today, the ITEP Secretariat is hosted by the Belgian Royal Military Academy in Brussels. Each member state may assign an employee at the Secretariat,.