World marks day for mine awareness
The United Nations on Monday said, beyond removing weapons, mine action means ensuring a safe environment for civilians, developing local capacity and restoring dignity to survivors through job opportunities and other reintegration programmes.
A message to mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, said Mine action also meant adherence to the relevant legal instruments, including the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention, Protocol V on explosive remnants of war and the recently adopted Convention on Cluster Munitions.
“Therefore the Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention, to be held later this year in Cartagena, Colombia, offers an opportunity to renew commitment to the treaty and to mine action efforts around the globe.”
The message said facing the dangerous conditions, mine action workers risked their lives to rid land and roads of mines.
Over the past two decades, United Nations assistance in mine action had reached more than 50 countries and territories, including United Nations mine action specialists who were among the first international workers to resume humanitarian activities in Gaza, where explosive remnants of war pose significant threats.
The message said many countries faced the scourge of landmines and the devastation caused by those indiscriminate weapons, which hamper reconstruction, damage the environment and cause grievous injuries and death for decades after conflicts end.
It said though conditions may vary from Iraq to Sudan, from Lebanon to Zimbabwe, from Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, what did not change was the threat to life and limb, and was hopeful that the world would one day be free from the threats caused by landmines and explosive remnants of war.
“It will take concerted collective efforts on all fronts to realize this goal. On this International Day, let us renew our commitment to carrying out this life-saving work.”