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 the 11th year in a row, the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is being marked with events in New York and around the world. The theme for 2016 is “mine action is humanitarian action,” which was chosen to highlight the intrinsic humanitarian value of mine action, be it through the protection of civilians by reducing the threat of landmines and other explosive hazards or through the facilitation of humanitarian assistance delivery. The theme echoes the 2016 priority of the Secretary-General to establish a sustainable humanitarian plan of action.
This photo exhibit highlights humanitarian mine action work carried out by UNMAS in Afghanistan, Cyprus and South Sudan, three out of 17 programmes where we are currently working.