"I urge all Governments to provide political and financial support to enable mine action work to continue, wherever it is needed. In our turbulent world, mine action is a concrete step towards peace."
—— UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
2018 Theme: Advancing Protection, Peace and Development
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 theme Advancing Protection, Peace, and Development echoes the vision of the Secretary-General and his reforms of the peace and security architecture comprising the entire humanitarian, peace building and sustainable development continuum. For over 20 years, the work of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has been driven by the needs of affected people and tailored to the threat of explosive hazards faced by civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarians.
UNMAS works to save lives, to facilitate deployment of UN missions and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, to protect civilians, to support the voluntary return of the internally displaced and refugees, to enable humanitarian and recovery activities and to advocate for international humanitarian and human rights law.