Mandated by the General Assembly as the coordinator for mine action in the United Nations system, UNMAS ensures coherence and effective responses including on mitigation of the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). This entails providing expert advice, training, and guidance to the UN system as well as affected states.
Drawing on more than 20 years of experience, UNMAS strengthens capacities in IED awareness, risk education, detection, mitigation, disposal, site investigation and victim assistance. Providing advice and assistance to national authorities, UNMAS supports the effective management and coordination of IED Threat Mitigation policies and procedures. Through training and mentoring, UNMAS assists civilian and Peacekeeping Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and IED Disposal teams to operate safely, effectively and efficiently. UNMAS carries out threat assessments and emergency IED clearance to support national and United Nations responses to the threat. Furthermore, UNMAS provides expert advice on innovation, new technologies and specialized equipment.
The Report of the Secretary-General on Countering the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (A/71/187) reflects these effective roles UNMAS plays in IED Threat Mitigation. In resolution A/RES/71/72, Member States welcomed the Report of the Secretary-General and took note of the Report’s recommendations.
UNMAS initiatives to date include:
- Development and issuance of DPKO/DFS Guidelines on IED Threat Mitigation in Mission Settings;
- Coordination of the development of United Nations Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) Standards;
- Establishment of an online IED Hub;
- Publication of an IED Lexicon - available in English, French and Arabic - the first of its kind for civilian use;
- Training of thousands of peacekeepers and UN personnel (uniformed and civilian), national security forces, humanitarian workers and civilians in IED recognition, reporting and awareness;
- Inclusion of the threats posed by IEDs in Landmine and Explosive Remnants of War Safety Handbook
- Partnerships through cooperation and expertise-sharing with African Union for development of capacity;
- Issuance of updated United Nations Policy on Victim Assistance to take into account IED-related victims.
 General Assembly Resolution on Assistance and Mine Action (A/72/75)
SMART IED THREAT MITIGATION TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP (SMiTMiTR)
In support of a UN whole-of-system approach to information-sharing and identification of effective IED threat responses, UNMAS developed the SMART IED Threat Mitigation Technology Roadmap (SMiTMiTR) as one of the tools for IED threat mitigation. SMiTMiTR is developed with three goals in mind:
One, to enable all UN entities involved in IED Threat Mitigation to increase safety when working in an IED threat environment;
Two, to achieve maximum synergy between the efforts aimed at dealing with the current and future threat and the efforts aimed at proactively identifying as well as meeting the needs of UN entities operating in missions, developments in the market and new scientific insights;
Three, to solve the current issues of the sector-wide IED Threat Mitigation knowledge and information management.
The effective utilization of IED Threat Mitigation knowledge and information management throughout the whole system, UN organizations and external stakeholders is critical for achieving the goals of UN IED threat mitigation partners.
As a strategic resource, IED Threat Mitigation knowledge and information management requires an ongoing assessment of its use, but its sector-wide management remains a challenge for organizations. This is because it is difficult for organizations to systematically and efficiently develop, organize, share and integrate IED Threat Mitigation knowledge and information management to achieve their cross-cutting goals. Already available information, technology and lessons learned from recent conflicts with high IED threats, mainly based on military research and development, is often classified and cannot be accessed easily by the United Nations.
SMiTMiTR hopes to help solve the problem of sector-wide IED Threat Mitigation knowledge and information management by ensuring that the improved information sharing will not compromise the weaknesses of any current system or become a manual for insurgent actors. Only generic information about IEDs (derived from assessed IED incidents) and trends will be used and shared under the threat category on the platform and based on the UNMAS IED lexicon. Classified or restricted information from the reporting of IED incidents will stay within the originating entity and will not be shared.