Safe Ground: Turning minefields into playing fields

Thursday, 04 April 2019


Wednesday, 3 April 2019 | Worldwide | UNMAS

The first step towards sustainable peace must be taken on a Safe Ground.  Whether mines, improvised explosive devices or explosive remnants of war, there is no security when there is explosive ordnance that can maim or kill.

Today, at the intersection of the International Days of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action and of Sport for Development and Peace, the United Nations launched a five-year Safe Ground campaign to bring attention and assistance to the survivors of armed conflict through the promotion of sport.

The campaign will create Safe Ground on which safe homes can be built or rebuilt. A safe home is more than four walls and a roof, it means a space where there is access to food, clean water, medical care, safe transportation, schools, security and a sense of community. 

Safe Ground is a global advocacy campaign that will raise funds and awareness to assist victims and survivors of war. It is led and coordinated by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), with the support of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action, and an informal, voluntary group of Champions - envisioned to include high-level Member States representatives, leaders from the United Nations, civil society organizations, private sector, sports federations, professional teams and individual athletes.

The campaign hopes to reinvigorate support for those who are physically or mentally affected by war.

The goal is to turn minefields into playing fields. Playing fields offer people, and especially young people, the chance to play, the pleasure of team and individual effort, and the joy of physical expression.

Sports can foster community. Sports events provide an excellent opportunity for risk education. Big sports facilities can be harnessed to raise funds and awareness.

The campaign will try to establish a Safe Ground in every affected country.

For anyone in New York, come and see a Safe Ground in the United Nations Headquarters Visitors’ Lobby from 4 April to 20 May 2019.