Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, observed today:
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.