Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, observed on 4 April:
Today, on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, we reflect on how far we have come in raising awareness of the dangers posed by landmines, and recommit to our target of a mine-free world. More than 160 States are party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. I call on those that have not yet acceded to the Convention to do so without delay.
Landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices disproportionally affect the vulnerable, the forcibly displaced, the dispossessed and children. They impede peaceful solutions, hinder humanitarian responses and are an obstacle to sustainable, inclusive development.
Unfortunately, we sometimes make progress on clearing mines only to see it rolled back. But, we cannot be content simply with advocacy and campaigning to create awareness of the dangers posed by landmines. The United Nations Charter calls us to complete the work: to survey, clear and destroy these deadly devices. Let’s make this the last decade when we need to devote ourselves to this task.