The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) collaborates with 13 other UN departments, agencies, programmes and funds to ensure an effective, proactive and coordinated response to the problems of landmines and explosive remnants of war, including cluster munitions.
The UN General Assembly created UNMAS in 1997 to serve as the UN focal point for mine action and to support the UN's vision of "a world free of the threat of landmines and unexploded ordnance, where individuals and communities live in a safe environment conducive to development, and where mine survivors are fully integrated into their societies."
UNMAS coordinates the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action, which brings together working-level representatives of UN organizations involved in mine action to develop or revise policies and strategies, set priorities among UN players and share information. UNMAS also coordinates meetings of standing committees, which were created when the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty went into effect in 1999, and the Steering Committee on Mine Action, which brings together UN mine-action, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Coordinating Capabilities In The Field
UNMAS sets up and manages mine-action coordination centres in countries and territories as part of peacekeeping operations and humanitarian emergencies or crises. In these situations, UNMAS may plan and carry out mine-action projects, orchestrate the work of local and international mine-action service providers, and set priorities for mine clearance, mine-risk education and other aspects of mine action.
Mine-action coordination centres managed by UNMAS are also responsible for public information and community liaison operations, victim assistance initiatives; collection of landmine and casualty data, provision of technical advice on destruction of landmine stockpiles, quality management for mine-action operations, and destruction and removal of explosive remnants of war, which comprise unexploded ordnance (bombs, mortars and other explosives that do not detonate on impact but remain volatile and dangerous) and abandoned explosive ordnance, which are unused explosives left behind by armed forces. As a fundamental contributor to peacekeeping and peace operations, UNMAS continues to implement traditional mine action activities as well as develop new areas to extend the reach of mine action in contributing to early peacebuilding by working on ammunition management, weapons management and counter-IED.
UNMAS provides direct support and assistance to 17 programmes in Afghanistan, Chad, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI), Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), Lebanon (UNIFIL), Libya (UNSMIL), oPt, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Somalia (AMISOM), Sudan, Abyei (UNISFA), Darfur (UNAMID), South Sudan (UNMISS), Syria (UNSMIS), Western Sahara (MINURSO), and the rapid response S-MAC programme.