"On this International Day, I urge Member States to stay committed to the cause of mine action through financial contributions and political support, which is particularly crucial this year as the General Assembly debates assistance in mine action. The proposed resolution will provide an opportunity to recognize that mine action is indeed “More than Mines” and to recommit ourselves to working with affected states to reduce the menace of mines and explosive hazards."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
2015 Theme: “More than Mines”
United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and UNMAS specialists
demolished 11 tons of out-of-date ordnance in an unpopulated area
outside of the capital Port-au-Prince in one day.
UN Photo/ Logan Abassi
On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
It called for continued efforts by States, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.
The 2015 theme 'More than Mines' takes into account the types of explosive threats faced by the United Nations and its members and brings attention to the fact that disposing of explosive hazards is only one part of UN mine action work.
Landmines are not the only explosive hazards that pose a danger to civilians living in conflict and post-conflict settings; unexploded bombs, grenades, unsecured weapons and ammunition and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) also kill, injure and block access to healthcare, education and development. In Afghanistan, IEDs now kill ten times more civilians than landmines.
The nature of conflict has also changed, with an increased role of non-state actors and fewer stable peace agreements creating a more complex – and dangerous – environment for humanitarians. 'More than Mines' highlights the changes that are taking place in the world and how the United Nations and its civil society partners working in mine action have adapted to meet today’s challenges. The adaptation is crucial to keep humanitarian priorities central and respond to the needs of the people and countries afflicted by warfare.