On 8 December 2005, the UN 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.
“On this International Day, let us work together to advance the goal of a world free of the threat of mines and explosive remnants of war.”
-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Mine action is humanitarian action because mine action saves lives. Mine action ensures that landmines and explosive hazards in war-torn areas are found and destroyed, making possible the delivery of humanitarian assistance — so that people and supplies reach those most in need. UNMAS coordinates teams to clear roads and runways of explosives, to block off weapons contaminated areas, and to train local people to demine and dispose of explosives. Our work is a crucial first step in the vital humanitarian effort that follows.
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