UN adopts new strategy on Mine Action
Posted: Tuesday, 22 January 2013, New York | Author: UN Mine Action Strategy, Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support
Landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to maim and kill women and men, boys and girls from Cambodia, to South Sudan, in Chile and Colombia, from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Angola, Algeria and in Syria and Libya. The United Nations is working in scores of countries to help governments eradicate mines and explosive remnants of war, including cluster munitions. The UN removes and destroys mines and explosive remnants of war. It educates, advocates, and trains to raise awareness of these threats and to ensure the safe destruction of these devices.
In the last 15 years the number of deaths has decreased significantly but millions of mines and explosive remnants remain, while reports of new contamination continue.
The commitment of the UN and its Member States remains strong. On 27 December, Poland acceded to the Mine Ban Convention, becoming the 161st State and the last European Union country to do so.
Also last December, the United Nations finalized a new six-year UN Mine Action Strategy.
“The transfer of mine action responsibilities and ownership to affected countries’ authorities through plans and strategies, together with a reduction of the UN Mine Action support and presence, unless otherwise requested by host countries,” was one of the underlying principles of the third UN mine action strategy, explained Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
Mr. Ladsous, who is also the chairman of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action, led the meeting of senior UN officials that endorsed the UN Mine Action Strategy on 18 December. He highlighted the impact that this work has on the UN work in peace and security, human rights, humanitarian assistance and development. At the meeting, UNMAS (DPKO) was applauded by partners for the consultative process leading to this successful outcome.
The UN Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Group is chaired by DPKO and consists of the Office for Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the United Nations Office for Project Services, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.