Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
The aim of this day is to save the lives of people in war torn areas by destroying landmines and explosives and also clearing roadways of landmine threats to avoid casualties.
The theme for 2016 is “Mine Action is Humanitarian Action.” In line with this theme, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has called for all affected states to work with the United Nations to minimize these threats. “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.” He said.
Mine action is important to ensure that refugees and Internally displaced persons can return home and also so that children can return to school.
So far, the United Nations, together with affected states have been able to achieve the following;
- Destroy landmines and explosives remnants of war
- Clear roadways of landmines
- Provide mine risk education to people and train military and police officers to handle and safely dispose of explosive hazards.
The essence of this day is to lower the risk of casualties resulting from the remnant of war and to ensure that humanitarian activities and relief materials reach affected areas safely.