In December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Since then, each year, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) organizes a multimedia exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to raise awareness on threats caused by mines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices. With co-organizers, UNMAS will unveil a photo exhibition featuring the “Safe Ground” campaign, which promotes the linkage between mine action, sport and the Sustainable Development Goals by showing how replacing minefields with playing fields brings communities together and raises awareness about victims and survivors of armed conflict. The campaign will be announced by the UN Secretary-General in his message commemorating the Day.
Mine Action programmes in several countries will hold Safe Ground events, including in the State of Palestine, where UNMAS is organizing a football tournament in Gaza; in Cyprus, where UNMAS will survey and do a final sweep over land in the buffer zone that will be used by UNMAS and UNFICYP to construct a Safe Ground sporting facility; in Somalia where a soccer match will be organized; in Iraq where a road race is planned; as well as in South Sudan, Lebanon and Colombia, to name a few.