Following are UN Deputy Secretary‑General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the reception and opening of the exhibition “Mine Action: Advancing Protection, Peace and Development”, in New York today:
Thank you for being here to help us mark International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It is a pleasure to be joined by Ambassador Schulz, Daniel Craig, as well as Mr. Yar and Mr. Fenn, two talented photographers and filmmakers whose works are displayed here this evening. And to Agnès Marcaillou, Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), I thank you for your leadership.
Mine action is peace action. Every day and in so many ways, the United Nations Mine Action Service is advancing protection, peace and development.
Mine action not only helps save people from the immediate devastation of war, it enables the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance, provides dignified employment for former combatants, and accelerates progress towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war enables people to safely return to their communities at the end of hostilities. It can serve as an important confidence-building measure between parties to conflict. And as contaminated land is cleared, communities can commence their recovery and rebuild their infrastructure, economies and people’s lives.
With this hopeful, essential and transformative work in mind, I am now honoured to deliver a message from the Secretary-General:
“An unprecedented volume of landmines and unexploded weapons contaminates rural and urban war zones, maiming and killing innocent civilians long after conflict has ended. Mine action is vital. Roads cleared of explosive devices enable peacekeepers to patrol and protect civilians. And when fields are cleared and schools and hospitals are made safe, normal life can resume.
“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.”
Let us continue taking those steps together towards a better and safer world. Thank you for your support, engagement and commitment.