“On this International Day for Mine Awareness, let us reaffirm our commitment to eradicating the horrendous damage caused by landmines and assisting those who have been harmed by their use.”——?UN Secretary-General António Guterres
2019 Theme: "United Nations Promotes SDGs – Safe Ground – Safe Home"
On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly 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.
For over 20 years, the work of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has been driven by the needs of affected people and tailored to the threat of explosive hazards faced by civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarians.
UNMAS works to save lives, to facilitate deployment of UN missions and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, to protect civilians, to support the voluntary return of the internally displaced and refugees, to enable humanitarian and recovery activities and to advocate for international humanitarian and human rights law.
UN Global Advocate's Message for the International Mine Awareness Day 2019
Еach year, UNMAS organizes a multimedia exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to raise awareness on threats caused by mines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices. With co-organizers, UNMAS will unveil a photo exhibition featuring the “Safe Ground” campaign, which promotes the linkage between mine action, sport and the Sustainable Development Goals by showing how replacing minefields with playing fields brings communities together and raises awareness about victims and survivors of armed conflict.
Mine Action programmes in several countries will hold Safe Ground events, including in the State of Palestine, where UNMAS is organizing a football tournament in Gaza; in Cyprus, where UNMAS will survey and do a final sweep over land in the buffer zone that will be used by UNMAS and UNFICYP to construct a Safe Ground sporting facility; in Somalia where a soccer match will be organized; in Iraq where a road race is planned; as well as in South Sudan, Lebanon and Colombia, to name a few.