International Mine Awareness Day: Women's Mine Action Efforts Praised as Daniel Craig Narrates UNMAS Videos
In 2005, the United Nations Mine Actions Service (UNMAS) declared that on the 4th of April each year, the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action would be observed in order to establish, foster and develop mine action capacities in post-conflict areas.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon elaborated on the theme chosen for 2014, which highlights the importance of the diverse roles undertaken by women in the mine action domain. In his statement, the Secretary-General reflected upon the fact that, not only are women at greater risk of being affected by landmines, but also make an essential contribution to mine clearance and mine risk education activities:
"Women all across the world play a vital role in our efforts to clear landmines and to protect victims against their indiscriminate effects, teaching people how to live safely in contaminated areas, assisting those who are injured, clearing landmines and disposing of explosive ordnance.”
“Women and girls are disproportionately affected by landmines, and often have different needs when it comes to education about risks. They may face greater challenges when a family member is killed or injured. This is why the United Nations endeavours to listen to the views of women in our mine action work, incorporate their ideas and empower them to contribute even more to our global campaign.”
Progress towards the central goals of mine action, which aims to improve Security, rebuild communities, reclaim land and end the looming fear caused by Explosive Remnants of War, is often driven by women. Whether they are educating family members, engaging in mine disposal operations, or caring for a relative injured in an explosion, the efforts of women in the mine action domain make a significant contribution to the UN’s campaign for a mine free world.
Actor Daniel Craig has teamed up with UNMAS to promote the cause by narrating some short video documentaries, written by the Emmy award-winning photographer and film-maker, Marco Grobo. One of the documentaries shows footage of the work of Betty Inga Augustina, a member of an all-female demining team in Yei, South Sudan whilst another profiles a Malian explosives expert named Douglas Maketiwa. These videos are designed to raise awareness of the continued efforts to eradicate the inherent dangers of Unexploded Ordnance (UXOs) as well as to pay tribute to the brave men and women who risk their lives to rid the world of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).
In order to raise public awareness on the effects of landmines and international campaigns to remove them, the UN Mine Action Service also staged an exhibition showing a virtual mine field at the New Museum in New York on the 4th of April.
You can view the documentaries by clicking on the following links;