Message on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
Daniel Craig, United Nations Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards
4 April 2018
Today is the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action and today, more than ever, we need your help.
Landmines, grenades, mortar rounds, missiles, bombs – these vicious weapons of war instill fear into the lives of millions of people. From Cambodia to Mali and Somalia, Iraq to Syria, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Chad, people are in desperate need of protection from explosive hazards and the deadly legacy these leave behind.
After two decades of steadily diminishing casualty numbers, people being killed or injured by explosive hazards has [have] leapt to a reported high of 8,600 per year – an unimaginable figure and almost certainly an undercount.
UNMAS, the United Nations Mine Action Service, is working tirelessly to stop this disturbing escalation from becoming an accepted fact.
Whether clearing deep-buried bombs in Gaza, cluster munitions in Afghanistan, or improvised explosive devices in Iraq, they continue and will continue to do their incredible work.
Student, scientist, farmer or factory worker, parent or child, the United Nations teaches millions of people how to stay safe. And, for the injured who survive, the United Nations provides medical care, psychosocial support, and training in new skills, so people can get on with their lives.
Today, we remember and pay tribute to the thousands of teachers providing risk education and the deminers around the globe who devote their lives to making the world a safer place, not just for now, but for generations to come.
But, without your help, without your voices, your resources, your political will, it is a lost cause. So please, let’s find a way of working together to eradicate this deadly scourge of war and meet our target to be free from this threat by 2025.
Let’s eliminate this fear from the daily lives of so many, for good.