When the idea of establishing the Implementation Support Unit was first made in May 2001, it was proposed that the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) could be the appropriate entity through which this enhanced support could be provided. On this basis, at the September 2001 Third Meeting of the States Parties (3MSP) the States Parties mandated the GICHD to establish an Implementation Support Unit. The President of the 3MSP and the Director of the GICHD subsequently signed an agreement establishing the ISU as part of the GICHD, with the ISU receiving administrative, technical and logistical support from the GICHD and operating under the financial and administrative supervision of the GICHD’s Director.
In 2010, on the basis of a decision taken by the Convention’s 2009 Second Review Conference, the States Parties established an open-ended Task Force to commission and make recommendations based on an evaluation of the ISU, including an evaluation of the ISU’s institutional framework. The Task Force’s final report and recommendations, which were endorsed by the 2010 Tenth Meeting of the States Parties (10MSP), recorded “an emerging consensus around continuing the current institutional set-up with some key adjustments” with these adjustments including “more clarity regarding the formal division of roles and responsibilities between the GICHD and the ISU, the need for direct reporting and budgetary responsibilities from the ISU to the States Parties, and the need to reinforce the identity and visibility of the Convention and thus its Implementation Support Unit.”
The 2010 Task Force’s final report also noted that adjustments to the institutional set-up necessitated an amendment of the 2001 Agreement between the States Parties and the GICHD on the hosting of the ISU. The Task Force recommended that (a) the ISU will continue to be hosted by the GICHD, based on an amended agreement between States Parties and the GICHD and on a new directive from the States Parties to the ISU, (b) in order to reinforce the identity and visibility of the Convention the ISU will be identified by a distinct profile that emphasizes its role as supporting entity for the Convention, including identifiable bank account, identifiable logo, email-addresses and similar features, and (c) that the GICHD Director will report to the States Parties on the functioning of the agreement between the States Parties and the GICHD.
On 6 September 2011, the President of the 10MSP and the Director of the GICHD signed a revised agreement. According to this agreement, the GICHD will continue to provide infrastructure, administrative and other support for the operations of the ISU. In addition, the GICHD will continue to support the organisation of the Intersessional Work Programme and the administration of the Sponsorship Programme. GICHD support to the ISU, to the Intersessional Work Programme and to the Sponsorship Programme includes human resources management, financial management, internal information management, office space and general logistics, information and communication services, travel services, conference management, sponsorship administration, publications support and website management. These support services are funded by Switzerland’s core contribution to the GICHD.
ISU Institutional Framework – Key Documents
GICHD Director’s reports on the functioning of the agreement between the States Parties and the GICHD