Implementation Support Unit

Implementation Support Unit

The idea of establishing an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) was first made in May 2001. Since the decision was made in September 2001, the ISU has been enitrely funded on a voluntary basis by the States Parties to which the ISU is accountable. The Implementation Support Unit is hosted at the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Deming through financial support provided by Switzerland.

The ISU's latest scope of activities was defined by the “Directive by the States Parties to the Implementation Support Unit”,  adopted during the Tenth Meeting of the States Parties (10MSP), in 2010.

Mandate and Activities

Coordinating Committee: 

  • The ISU serves as the secretariat to the Coordinating Committee (President, Committee Chairs, Sponsorship Programme Coordinator). In addition, it prepares the Intersessional Meetings ensuring a sound relationship between intersessional work and formal Meetings of the Convention.

Article 5 Extension Request Process:

  • The ISU serves as the secretariat to the group of States Parties mandated to analyse requests for extensions of mine clearance deadlines. This includes preparing agendas and compiling background information, coordinating expert input, executing follow-up actions in accordance with the decisions of the group and making key documentation available to all delegations.

Convention Committees:

  • The ISU serves as the secretariat to the President and the group of States Parties mandated to produce Observations. 

Universalization: 

  • The ISU supports the President's Mandate including by providing background information, disseminating communication on behalf of the Convention, developing/coordinating universalization strategies, and carrying out follow-up actions.
  • The ISU supports States Parties which are active in promoting further acceptance of the Convention, including by providing background documentation, developing country-specific universalisation strategies, accompanying representatives of States Parties in carrying out universalisation activities, and supporting the work of Special Envoys Her Royal Highness Astrid, Pricess of Belgium, and His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al Hussein from Jordan.

Sponsorship Programme: 

  • The ISU provides a proposed strategic approach to the Coordinator of the Sponsorship Programme, and acts to implement the decisions by the Coordinator and/or Coordinating Committee.

Meetings of the States Parties / Review Conferences:

  • The ISU provides briefings and background information to prospective meeting hosts and presidents.
  • The ISU works with hosts and presidents to develop a conceptual approach to the Convention’s formal meetings and subsequently prepares and implements communications strategies.
  • The ISU serves as the main substantive support to the President, assisting in the preparation of meeting documents.
  • In addition, the ISU organises a programme for victim assistance experts, coordinates a programme of side events, leads media-relations efforts, advises delegations on ways and means to participate in meetings, and collects and retains all documentation.

Intersessional Meetings:

  • The ISU assists Co-Chairs of the Convention’s Standing Committee in elaborating annual strategic plans and supports them in implementing these plans, including by preparing programmes for the annual Intersessional Meetings and in assisting the Chairs in communication and bilateral meetings with States Parties.
  • The ISU distributes meeting programmes, background documents and other information to all delegations.
  • In addition, as is the case with the Convention’s formal meetings, the ISU organises a programme for victim assistance experts, coordinates a programme of side events, leads media-relations efforts, advises delegations on ways and means to participate in meetings, and collects and retains all documentation.

 

    Article 5 (Mine Clearance):

    • The ISU provides advice and support to individual States Parties which are in the process of implementing the Convention’s mine clearance obligations, including by assisting them in understanding completion as understood by the States Parties, enhancing awareness of the relationship between Convention obligations and operational aspects of demining, preparing an extension of mine clearance deadlines and preparing a declaration of completion.

    Article 6.3 (Victim Assistance): 

    • The ISU provides advice and support to individual States Parties in applying in accordance with the national context, the victim assistance understandings adopted by the States Parties. This includes supporting States Parties in establishing or enhancing an inter-ministerial process to incorporate the Convention’s promise to landmine survivors into broader approaches related to disability and human rights, and health care.

    Article 7 (Transparency Reporting): 

    • The ISU assists individual States Parties in preparing transparency reports, particularly by advising States Parties which are in the process of clearing mined areas in providing clarity in accordance with Convention obligations.

    Support to Small States: 

    • The ISU is cognisant of the fact that almost one-third of all States Parties are considered small States and that, as such, these States face unique challenges in implementing, complying with and participating in the work of the Convention. The ISU works closely with individual small States Parties to overcome these unique challenges.

    Office Holders:

    • The ISU provides support to ensure that representatives of States Parties – big or small, high developed or developing – can fulfil responsibilities related to presiding over the Convention or serving as a Committee Chair.

    Communicating about the Convention: 

    • Authoritative Information: By virtue of its mandate, the ISU serves as the authoritative information source on the Convention and makes available, or is in position to provide upon request, information on the status and implementation of the Convention which may be required by States Parties, the media, academics and students, and others.
    • Publications: The ISU produces publications on the Convention and in support of the Convention’s meetings. The ISU has produced important reference publications which contain compilations of the victim assistance and mine clearance understandings adopted by the States Parties.
    • Worksops and conferences: The ISU regularly delivers presentations at regional or national conferences or workshops on matters pertaining to the Convention, including on the obligations and status of the Convention, on particular aspects concerning the implementation of the Convention and on learning lessons from the implementation of the Ant-Personnel Mine Ban Convention for applicability in other issue areas.
    • Student groups: The ISU hosts numerous student groups each year for the purpose of building interest in the Convention on the part of a new generation of leaders, activists and implementation supporters. The ISU has developed interactive exercises which feature students learning by doing when they visit the ISU.
    • Media relations: The ISU prepares and distributes press releases on behalf of the President and individual States Parties, and otherwise maintains frequent contact with journalists to ensure that the press is well informed about the implementation of the Convention.
    • Social media: The ISU ensures the Convention’s presence on the main social media platforms, thereby helping extend the reach of messages and information on the implementation process.

    Coordination and Liaison 

    • As mandated by the States Parties, the ISU liaises and collaborates regularly with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations departments and agencies and, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining.
    • In addition, the ISU has deepened relations with other organisations, including UN agencies and non-governmental organisations that focus on disability issues and international organisations that support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

    Information Management

    • Record keeping: The ISU maintains the Convention’s website, which amounts to the electronic archives for the Convention.
    • Documentation Centre: As part of its original 2001 mandate, the ISU established the Convention’s Documentation Centre which is housed in its offices in Geneva, Switzerland, which contains thousands of documents related to the Ottawa Process, formal and informal meetings, and country-specific implementation efforts.

    Institutional Framework and Finances

    The ISU is funded on a voluntary basis by States Parties to the Convention. The ISU is directly accountable to the States Parties while being hosted by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining through financial support provided by Switzerland.

    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, in 2001 at the Third Meeting of the States Parties (3MSP) the States Parties mandated the GICHD to establish an Implementation Support Unit. 

    In 2010, a 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 support the organisation of the Intersessional Meetings and the administration of the Sponsorship Programme.

    GICHD's support to the ISU includes human resources, office space, financial and conference logistics management, travel services, and sponsorship programme administration.

    The Directive also stated that the ISU shall “propose and present a work plan and a budget for the activities of the ISU for the following year to the Coordinating Committee for endorsement and subsequently to each Meeting of the States Parties or Review Conferences for approval. The ISU Director will provide the States Parties with annual financial and activity reports,” and “report in written form as well as orally on the activities, functioning and finances of the ISU to each Meeting of the States Parties or Review Conference, and to informal meetings under the Convention as appropriate.” Including by providing “an audited Annual Financial Report for the previous year and a preliminary Annual Financial Report for the present year shall be submitted by the ISU to the Coordinating Committee and subsequently to each Meeting of the States Parties or Review Conferences for approval.”

    At the 2019 Fourth Review Conference, the States Parties adopted a five-year year work plan and budget for the ISU. 

    At the 14MSP the States Parties adopted a decision on strengthening financial governance and transparency within the ISU. Among the measures included in this decision was the establishment of a financial security buffer as well as other measures to increase predictability of contributions to the ISU and management of expenditures. 

    States Parties should direct their contributions to the following bank account indicating “ISU [year] Core Work Plan”,

    Account owner: Centre international de déminage humanitaire – Genève
    Account: FP 100 627.6
    IBAN: CH45 0024 0240 FP10 0627 6
    Swift code: UBSWCHZH80A
    UBS Geneva
    P.O. Box 2600 CH-1211
    Geneva, Switzerland