United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)
UNMAS collaborates with 11 UN departments, agencies, programmes and funds to ensure an effective, proactive and coordinated response to the problems of landmines and explosive remnants of war, including cluster munitions.
UNMAS was established in 1997, by the General Assembly, to serve as the UN coordinator for mine action and to support the UN's vision of "a world free of the threat of landmines and unexploded ordnance, where individuals and communities live in a safe environment conducive to development, and where mine survivors are fully integrated into their societies."
UNMAS coordinates the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action, which brings together working-level representatives of UN organizations involved in mine action to develop or revise policies and strategies, set priorities among UN players and share information. UNMAS also coordinates meetings of standing committees, which were created when the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty went into effect in 1999, and the Steering Committee on Mine Action, which brings together UN mine-action, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Mine Action is Humanitarian Action
Every year landmines and other explosive hazards kill or injure thousands of people across the globe. The toll of human suffering is devastating. Explosive remnants of war block the delivery of humanitarian assistance, prevent children from going to school, stop farmers from working the land, render water points and places of worship inaccessible, hamper reconstruction efforts and effectively rob people of their livelihoods. Locating, removing and destroying explosive hazards, which today include landmines, cluster bombs, unexploded ordnance, remnant improvised explosive devices and unsafe and unsecured munitions, saves lives and is a prerequisite for humanitarian action. Mine action also includes sensitizing affected populations, especially children, to the risks posed by explosive hazards and ensuring that assistance is provided to victims, their families and communities. The United Nations works in the most affected countries and territories of the world to mitigate the impact of landmines and explosive hazards.
More than Mines
The United Nations applies mine action expertise to mitigate the threat of an increasingly wide range of explosive hazards, from unexploded missiles, artillery shells, rockets, grenades and mortars, to unsafe and unsecured weapons and ammunition, improvised explosive devices and cluster bombs. UNMAS leads, coordinates and carries out efforts to mitigate these threats when mandated by the United Nations Security Council or, when requested by the Secretary-General or an affected country, often in response to a humanitarian emergency. See more