On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nations by adopting Resolution 60/97 declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
It called for continued efforts by States, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.
The 2015 theme 'More than Mines' takes into account the types of explosive threats faced by the United Nations and its members and brings attention to the fact that disposing of explosive hazards is only one part of UN mine action work. Landmines are not the only explosive hazards that pose a danger to civilians living in conflict and post-conflict settings; unexploded bombs, grenades, unsecured weapons and ammunition and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) also kill, injure and block access to healthcare, education and development. In Afghanistan, IEDs now kill ten times more civilians than landmines. The nature of conflict has also changed, with an increased role of non-state actors and fewer stable peace agreements creating a more complex – and dangerous – environment for humanitarians. 'More than Mines' highlights the changes that are taking place in the world and how the United Nations and its civil society partners working in mine action have adapted to meet today’s challenges. The adaptation is crucial to keep humanitarian priorities central and respond to the needs of the people and countries afflicted by warfare.
Video Message of UN Secretary-General on the occasion of 2015 International Mine Awareness Day
Fourteen United Nations departments, programmes, funds and agencies are involved in mine action to varying degrees, in accordance with their mandates, areas of expertise and comparative advantages. These are: the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues (OSAGI), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank,. They coordinate their activities in the context of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group for Mine Action (IACG-MA), chaired by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at the Principals’ level and by the Director of UNMAS at the working-level. All mentioned departments, programmes, funds and agencies are members of the IACG-MA, except for the World Bank which acts as an observer. (data excerpt from the "Mine action and effective coordination: The UN Inter-Agency Policy.)
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