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UN officials take lead in global campaign against mines

UN officials take lead in global campaign against mines

Posted: Friday, 27 April 2012, New York | Author: Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions

Fifteen members of UNAMID - five civilians, five police advisors and five military - in Abu Shouk village, in North Darfur, participate in the The Secretary-General did it. So did other top United Nations officials, senior Government officials, survivors, civil society and UN Goodwill Ambassadors Iker Casillas (UNDP) and Muazzez Ersoy (UNHCR). They all joined a campaign called “Lend Your Leg” for the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

The global campaign called on people around the world to make the simple, but symbolic, gesture of rolling up a trouser leg or sleeve on their arm to raise awareness for mine action work and show solidarity with those who have lost limbs to landmines and unexploded ordnance.

“On this year's International Day for Mine Awareness, we are 'lending our legs' in a campaign to show support and compassion for survivors. Mine action programmes make Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General at the Mine Action ceremony in the UN Secretariat on the 4th of April. (Photo credit: UN Photo) an invaluable contribution to post-conflict recovery, humanitarian relief efforts, peace operations and development initiatives and sets communities on course toward lasting stability,” stated Ban Ki-moon.

The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, called on countries to adhere to international treaties on this issue, and urged States to “provide assistance to countries affected by mines and explosive remnants of war”, stressing that the presence of these devices have serious humanitarian and economic consequences.

At UNHQ a number of events were held including the launch of a multimedia exhibition entitled “UN Common Cause”. This event included the premiere of a UN Public Service Announcement featuring the Secretary- Members of the UNAMID Special Forces from Nepal, in El Fasher, North Darfur, participate at the General Ban Ki-moon, the UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, the Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake, the SRSG in Libya Ian Martin, the Assistant Secretaries-General Dmitry Titov and Jordan Ryan, Agnes Marcaillou the Director of UNMAS and the UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

Hervé Ladsous the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations represented the Secretary-General and presided over this event which was co-hosted by the Australian and Cambodian Permanent Missions to the UN. The photo exhibition featured works by New York-based photographer Marco Grob, who travelled to Afghanistan and Cambodia to photograph mine victims, and Italian photojournalist Giovanni Diffidenti, who spent time documenting the work of UNMAS in Libya.

Members of the UNAMID Military contingent from Rwanda posted in Zam Zam, North Darfur, participate at the Mr. Ladsous highlighted the work of the entire UN mine action team and he put the importance of this work into perspective. “Mine action, in all its aspects, is at the core of the work of the United Nations, in particular the Millennium Development Goals. It is a critical enabler of human security, humanitarian action, sustainable development and peace and security,” he explained.

The Day was also marked with a social media campaign led by UNICEF, UNDP, DPKO and the Department of Public Information which reached more than five million people and helped to bring more than 65,000 people to the You Tube video created for the campaign.

Over 79 countries held events, and so did UN missions including in Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Tajikistan and Vietnam.

Video for Lend Your Leg (UN Webcast)