Washington Hosts First Conference on Landmines, IEDs in Middle East

03.10.2018 Security
Washington Hosts First Conference on Landmines, IEDs in Middle East

Washington Hosts First Conference on Landmines, IEDs in Middle East

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Caliburn International, a professional services company serving national defense, international diplomacy, and homeland security clients, was a key supporter of Washington D.C.’s first Middle East Institute (MEI) conference focusing on removing landmines, improvised explosive devices, and other explosive hazards in the Middle East.

The conference brought together experts from across the region, as well as the U.S. Department of State, Department of Defense, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and commercial demining companies to focus on the importance of demining.  Thousands of people are killed or injured each year and communities are rendered uninhabitable impacting the daily life of civilians as well as prospects for the country's stabilization and development.

Janus Global Operations, a Caliburn International company, is among the world’s largest commercial demining and munitions management companies and has worked for more than a decade in the Middle East, North Africa, and other war-affected areas to eliminate landmines and explosive devices that pose constant dangers to civilians, businesses, agriculture, and essential public services.

The conference was held Thursday, September 13, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. Organized by MEI, the conference included three panels examining the impact of explosives across the region, emerging technologies in the field of demining, and potential policy responses and priorities.

“We were proud to host this premier Washington D.C. conference. Our goal was to facilitate the dialogue among experts in the field and provide them a venue to share ideas and build relationships to foster greater cooperation,” said Gail Dady, a member of the MEI Board of Governors who opened the event,

Caliburn CEO, Jim Van Dusen, said Caliburn’s goal is to be of value to the worldwide effort to protect people and property.  

“Our Caliburn-Janus Global teams are in the field, every day, using the latest techniques and technologies to eliminate explosive remnants of war. This enables people to rebuild their lives, communities and commerce without fear that every step or action will result in death, injury and destruction,” Mr. Van Dusen said

Janus Global has been spotlighted by ABC News and Iraqi Television for its work in the cities of Ramadi and Mosul, Iraq to find and remove thousands of landmines and artillery shells and other combat-related ordnance and eliminate IEDs and booby traps from those cities and surrounding territory.

In recent months Caliburn-Janus Global teams cleared explosives from a series of sites, enabling rebuilding of an Iraqi girls school; a major drinking water facility; a medical center's radiation treatment center for cancer; a vital grain silo; and a technical university, among other explosives remediation.

Steve Priestley, Janus Global’s Director of mine action, participated in the panel on “New Strategies and Technologies.” 

Mr. Priestley, who has more than 25 years of experience in more than 30 countries in dealing with unexploded remnants of war, improvised explosive devices and other explosives-related work, said panels such as the one on which he participated - and the Middle East Institute conference overall - are crucial in the worldwide effort to eliminate such dangers.

“Our purpose is to help people displaced by conflict resume their normal lives. Together, we're working to stop conflict-related and malicious explosives from being threats wherever they’ve been used,” Priestley said.

The conference keynote address was presented by HRH Prince Mired bin Ra’ad al-Hussein, Chairman, National Commission for Demining and Rehabilitation, Jordan. Jordan is considered a leader in demining and in 2012 became the first Arab country to declare itself mine free.

Also on the conference program were 13 speakers whose organizations work to make the world safer from war-related explosive hazards.

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