The European Commission, during the conference on land mines organized by the US Government in Washington, DC, United States of America, from 20 to 22 May 1998, proposed three concrete initiatives which should help to take better account of the potential of new de-mining technologies. The aim is to ensure that new techniques are developed to eliminate the need for manual de-mining, which is very dangerous, costly and slow. By improving coordination of initiatives currently under way, the Commission hopes that new technologies will continue to improve the pace and security of de-mining activities. The actions proposed will cover: - The identification of internationally accepted standards in order to define the types of mine action technology needed to help solve the problem; - The establishment of a worldwide network of test facilities in order to assess the most promising technologies; - Facilitating the rapid implementation of pilot projects on detection instruments based on existing technologies. In order to help realise these steps the Commission proposes to make use of the infrastructure, existing facilities and expertise of its Joint Research Centre (JRC). The Commission also announced the organization of an international exhibition on new de-mining technologies, to be hosted by the JRC in Ispra, Italy, from 29 September to 1 October 1998. This event will provide the de-mining community with an opportunity to see and assess existing technology, and to discuss urgent needs and requirements with producers and researchers.