Consistent with Sustainable Development Goal 17, which aims to revitalize partnerships for progress, partnership is crucial to UNMAS needs-driven people-centered approach. UNMAS partnerships include those with Member States, affected communities, implementers as well as companies and individuals.
For over a decade, UNMAS and the Schonstedt Humanitarian Demining Initiative (SHDI) have combined efforts to supply equipment to deminers in developing countries, including Schonstedt Magnetic Locators, instruments used to detect explosive hazards. To date, SHDI has helped UNMAS get more than 550 locators into the hands of demining teams in 28 conflict-countries, including, but not limited to, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Laos, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. The detectors are donated through grassroots fundraising efforts undertaken by Schonstedt and through their own charitable donations.
When you live in a country that does not have landmines or explosive remnants of war contaminating your countryside, roads and paths, how can you fathom the fear that these explosives generate? That was a question that UNMAS and Critical Mass, a global digital design and marketing company, asked. The answer was to create a digital minefield in New York City for ordinary people to walk through. With photographs provided by Marco Grob (see below), Critical Mass designed and developed a digital application that connected users through their tablets or smartphones. Following a grand opening at the New Museum on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2014, the installation was transferred to the UN Headquarters, where for over six weeks, thousands of visitors could experience the terror of walking through a minefield. This experience brought home to users the reality for millions of people who live in conflict-affected countries. By raising awareness, UNMAS and Critical Mass were able to generate wider support for the eradication of landmines and other explosive hazards.
Over the last decade, UNMAS has collaborated with an Emmy Award-winning photographer and director Mr. Marco Grob. Marco dedicated months to travelling to UNMAS programmes photographing landmine survivors, clearance activities and the people who regain their security and livelihood when explosives are removed. He has also made short films for the United Nations; one concerning a female deminer in South Sudan, and another showing an explosive ordnance specialist in Mali. A passionate advocate for the eradication of landmines, Marco remains a friend of UN mine action and continues to seek opportunities to raise awareness about explosive remnants of war. UNMAS continues to use his stunning photos in its publications and on its website.
Periodically, since the founding of UNMAS in 1997, the Service has worked with the global marketing agency, Brooklyn Brothers, on creative communications and fundraising projects. Beginning with the development of UNMAS striking logo, the production of a short film for children made entirely out of candy, Brooklyn Brothers has supported UNMAS in providing creative suggestions for outreach initiatives and fundraising.
Giles Duley and the Legacy of War Foundation
UNMAS has worked with Mr. Giles Duley since 2019, collaborating on an interactive exhibition for the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action in 2020. Giles and the Legacy of War Foundation that he co-founded are dedicated to bringing assistance to people living with disabilities in post-conflict environments. He is a storyteller and a photographer and also a survivor of an explosive ordnance who lost three limbs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2011. Giles, through photographs and stories, creates empathy where there was once ignorance. He is a Champion of the Safe Ground campaign which aims to turn minefields into playing fields; the UN looks forward to continuing to work closely with him to bring attention, new technology and resources to people living with disabilities.
UNA Sweden is a civil society organization with local chapters all over Sweden active in grassroots fundraising and awareness-raising activities for UNMAS global strategy. In addition, UNA Sweden is a member that advocates for mine action through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a global coalition of non-governmental organizations working to eradicate antipersonnel landmines, co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.