Around the world, mine action programmes made significant progress in 2009. Some of the highlights are summarized here. In Afghanistan, an extremely challenging operating environment included rising criminality and insurgency, and attacks on a UN compound that necessitated temporary staff relocations. Operations were not affected, however, as the programme there has grown resilient and flexible over its 20-year history. A community-based approach employed for mine clearance, community empowerment, sustainable development and stabilization has proved a particularly effective way of operating in insecure areas. The strength of the approach lies in strong community ownership, fostered through a policy that calls for 90 percent local recruitment, enhanced safety of project staff and equipment, local income generation and preservation activities, and community commitment to successful and sustainable project outcomes. But without a significant scaling up of operations and sustainable international aid, Afghanistan will not meet its mine ban treaty and Afghan Compact obligations.