On July 17, 2000 the Memorandum of ITEP was signed at the Royal Military Academy (RMA) of Belgium. It is therefore most appropriate to report on the
work done so far.
As usual, many in-house activities are taking time, without providing tangible products for the real community of customer. Among them are:
- to set up and implement the ITEP Secretariat hosted by the JRC in Ispra, Italy,
- to get the different Committee up and running (the Executive Committee, chaired by Mr. Robert Doheny, USA, and the Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Theodore Fouyn, Belgium),
- to establish this ITEP web page, etc.
However, more important are the projects which have been launched during that period, or which are to be launched within short. Some of the projects may be listed here:
- In order to launch the whole process for test and evaluation, a systematic inventory has been launched on T&E activities, capabilities, projects, etc in South Eastern Europe. (SEE is seen as a test region to learn lessons to approach the global dimension in T&E.)
The aim of this project is to prepare the ground for the establishment of T&E standards for humanitarian demining in SEE and to support the creation of a network of test and evaluation capabilities.
Through the collaboration with MACs and expert teams in the region, the project aims at a systematic inventory of:
- T&E needs in SEE in the form of a list of priorities,
- T&E capabilities in SEE,
- Of T&E efforts performed throughout the last two years or in preparation,
- Who did or does it, against what standards/references?
- Who requested these efforts?
The inventory consists of visits to the region and detailed discussions with the users of mine clearance tools. At the end of these missions, a workshop in collaboration with UNMAS, GICHD as well as with CEN will be organized in order to discuss the findings and establish recommendation for a related strategy.
One concrete outcome of this inventory should be the support to the implemen-tation of a network of test and evaluation capabilities for humanitarian
demining tools and methods in the region.
- Another point is the establishment of a close collaboration with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), which incorporates the collaboration with UNMAS and GICHD on the establishment of standards for test and evaluation of tools and methods in humanitarian mine action.
- First concrete outcomes of this collaboration, to take place before the end of this year, are:
- ITEP is at the moment establishing a register of test and evaluation facilities in the member states. The resulting description itself must be in a standard form. It will result in a data base to be accessible through the ITEP web page during the second half of this year.
- Test and evaluation does obviously not start with the implementation of ITEP. All present members as well as countries preparing the official application for membership did execute in the past such tests. In order to create an accessible archive, ITEP is creating a standard database for such existing test reports.
· Last but not least, ITEP is implementing a formal collaboration with UNMAS and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).