Peace operations are designed to create conditions for lasting peace and mine action has proven to be vital at all stages of the mission cycle. UNMAS helps to ensure that peace operations are fit for purpose to implement their complex mandates in situations where there is an explosive hazard threat.
In 2018, UNMAS is an integrated component of ten peacekeeping and two special political missions.
In the planning stage, the Service advises on how to protect civilians and peacekeeping personnel from the threat of explosive hazards providing pre-deployment training, in-country training, and technical assessments. Throughout mandate delivery, UNMAS enables mobility, builds capacity, and helps advance mandate implementation. As missions close, UNMAS ensures explosive hazards do not become a legacy.
UNMAS not only enables freedom of movement and delivery of mission mandates – it also saves the lives of peacekeepers. In Mali, thanks to UNMAS investment in mentoring, training and equipping troops in improvised explosive device (IED) threat mitigation, the first half of 2017 witnessed a 45 per cent decrease in the number of MINUSMA casualties compared to the same period in 2016.
Mine action also functions as a confidence building measure and delivers rapid and tangible peace dividends. In Colombia, ex-combatants are trained as deminers as part of their reintegration and the land they clear will enable rural development.
“We rely on UNMAS for its innovation, expertise and efficiency and commend it for its services as a reliable, professional partner for peace.” Under-Secretaries-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Political Affairs, Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Jeffrey Feltman. (UNMAS Annual Report 2017)