April 4: International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

On Dec. 8, 2005, the U.N. General Assembly declared April 4 as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

This observance calls for continued efforts by U.N. member states and relevant organizations to foster the development of national mine-action capacities in countries where explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety of populations, as well as an impediment to social and economic development.

According to the Landmine Monitor Report of 2005, 84 countries were affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance killing around 20,000 people annually.

The U.N.’s main purpose is to work with countries to find and destroy these devices, and providing them with various mine-action services.

On April 14, 2015, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated actor Daniel Craig as the first Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City.

As part of his new role, in October 2015, the on-screen 007 agent dropped into the ceasefire zone which separates Cyprus, where he spent two days overseeing the works to rid the area of landmines.

This year, the main theme of the observance is related to the humanitarian action of this recurrence, since not only the eradication of mines but also the delivery of assistance is crucial for the residents of affected areas.

You can get involved and donate to the U.N. Mine Action Work by visiting unmas.org.

Cover credit: Mineaction.org (full link)