TIR re-activated in Afghanistan

TIR re-activated in Afghanistan
As of 4 September 2013, international road transport operations under TIR will resume, to, from and across Afghanistan, after more than 30 years of interruption. This welcome development will considerably boost regional trade and economic development by opening up global trade to landlocked Central Asian countries via facilitated and secure international road transport.

Kabul – After some 30 years of suspension, Afghanistan is back today as the 58th country to enjoy facilitated and secure trade by international road transport, as the TIR System has been reactivated today for transport operations to, from and across Afghanistan – an important development marked by an official ceremony, attended by high level Afghan officials, including the Minister of Finance, Hazrat Omar Zakhelwal,  the Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Jarullah Mansoori, the Director General of the Afghan Customs Department, Dr Najibullah Wardak, the Head of Transport Division of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Secretariat, Dr Ismail Tekesadat, as well as Heads of diplomatic missions from various countries. Continue reading

UN Secretary General: “The assistance of IRU has contributed to a safer and more secure Afghanistan”

On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness, the UN Mine Action Service and the International Road Transport Union celebrate the successful completion of their 10-month innovative Public-Private Partnership in Afghanistan. Continue reading

Lend your leg for the International Day for Mine Awareness on 4 April 2012

No philosophy or revolution. No religion or politics. No war or search for peace. No.

Nothing justifies almost 5,000 recorded people dead or injured last year alone because of landmines.

Nothing justifies that vast areas of land are still infested with landmines waiting to hurt someone. Yet everyday, someone, somewhere, falls. Continue reading

Godar village, previous frontline between Taliban and Northern Alliance, now mine-free

Ahmad Shah (left), a local villager, discusses the benefits of mine clearance with a deminer

Ahmad Shah, a local resident of Godar, leads a visitor around his village, pointing out patches of land where minefields once existed. Godar is located in an area of Parwan province that suffered heavy fighting between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance in 1999. The clashes left lands contaminated with anti-personnel and anti-tank mines as well as unexploded ordinance (UXO), seriously hampering economic and agricultural activities. Continue reading

Afghanistan success story. Potentially a million casualties saved by effective, targeted, well planned mine action

Newly appointed UNMAS Programme Unit Chief, Paul Heslop, visits MACCA

The newly-appointed United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Programme Unit Chief, Paul Heslop, visited the Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA) for four days in November to reaffirm UNMAS’ commitment to the project and witness activities first-hand. Continue reading

Mine clearance bolsters transport network and development

Above: Abdullah (middle left), a local villager, discusses the benefits of mine clearance with a deminer.

Landmines and other explosive remnants of war are significant obstacles to development. When they have been laid around transport networks, they impede basic movement, raise transportation costs and threaten livelihoods. Continue reading

Benefits of mine clearance are visible in communities

Wasiqullah, left, a resident of Salang district answering questions from an ATC representative

In 1984, Ahangaran and Gamandy villages of Salang district became contaminated with anti-personnel mines, which killed and maimed scores of people in the area. Villagers still remember the deaths of a 35 year old man and an elderly woman, and a serious injury suffered by a 30 year old man.

After Russian forces pulled out from Afghanistan, demining NGOs began work all over Afghanistan to clear areas from the threat of mines. Continue reading