International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action 2023
Every year on April 4, the world observes the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, with the aim of creating awareness about the dangers of explosive mines and generating support for efforts aimed at eliminating them. The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) leads the mine action community, which plays a crucial role in achieving the goals of mine action.
International Day of Mine Awareness: Theme
The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has selected the theme “Mine Action Cannot Wait” for this year’s campaign, which seeks to draw attention to the long-standing issues caused by explosive mines in countries like Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. The campaign aims to emphasize the urgency of addressing these problems, which have persisted for several decades.
International Day of Mine Awareness: Significance
The International Day of Mine Awareness and Action is celebrated with the aim of creating a world that is free from landmines and explosive remnants of war, thereby ensuring the safety of individuals and communities. The day is significant because it has led to the establishment of an accountability framework for the United Nations and the introduction of the ‘Theory of Change’ in the mine action program.
On this day, 12 different departments and offices of the United Nations Secretariat, as well as specialized agencies, funds, and programs, come together to support mine action programs in 30 countries and 3 territories. The day is also important for peacekeepers who conduct patrols, provide assistance to humanitarian agencies, raise awareness among the general public about the dangers of mines, and educate those living in hazardous environments on how to stay safe and avoid the risk of injury or death.
International Day of Mine Awareness: History
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was created in 1997 to lead the campaign against mines and has been ratified by 164 countries since then. In 2005, the UN General Assembly designated April 4 as the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance for Mine Action, to be observed worldwide.
Since then, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has been working to address the needs of individuals affected by explosive hazards, including civilians, humanitarian workers, and peacekeepers. UNMAS collaborates with various organizations and states across the world to provide assistance to people affected by land mines and to eliminate the threats posed by these dangerous explosives.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- United Nations Mine Action Service Headquarters: United Nations Headquarters; New York, USA;
- United Nations Mine Action Service Founded: October 1997;
- United Nations Mine Action Service Head: Ilene Cohn.
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