Members of UNAMID participate in the "Lend Your Leg" campaign to commemorate April 4. © UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

You are here

What is the history of the Day?

In December 2005, the General Assembly declared April 4 the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.  The declaration stemmed from recommendations by member states, who wanted to create an opportunity to sustain public awareness about the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war and the efforts to eliminate them.

Why April 4?

The date is intentionally random.

Who should commemorate the Day?

The Day was declared by member states of the General Assembly but all governments, nongovernmental organizations and individuals are encouraged to take advantage of the Day to raise awareness about landmines.

What’s the significance of “mine action” in the name of the Day?

The Day is not only about landmines, it is also about “mine action,” and that includes all steps taken by the international community to eliminate the threat of landmines as well as explosive remnants of war, including cluster munitions.

What are the UN key messages about landmines, explosive remnants of war and mine action?

There are many messages to communicate in the lead-up to and on the Day.  For example:

  • The UN believes that the problem of landmines can be solved within years, not decades. But continued donor support is essential to sustain the progress already made.
  • Landmines injure and kill people everyday.  But so do explosive remnants of war, which include unexploded ordnance and cluster munitions.  Together, these devices continue to deny access to productive land, delay deployment of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers, and endanger refugees and internally displaced persons. 
  • The United Nations urges universal adherence to and implementation of all relevant treaties, especially the Antipersonnel Mine-Ban Treaty, Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. 
  • Victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war confront life-long challenges and need immediate attention and long-term support.
  • UN mine action facilitates the safe deployment of UN missions and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.