NATO marks International Day for Mine Awareness
NATO marked the International Day for Mine Awareness on Tuesday (4 April 2017), observed annually to highlight the deadly threat that mines pose to civilians’ lives and nations’ development. NATO has a strong track record in humanitarian demining, working with partners ranging from Ukraine to Afghanistan, and from Georgia to Egypt. To date, the Alliance has helped destroy more than 5 million anti-personnel landmines, as well as 642,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance.
Over the years, NATO has also trained thousands of experts in explosive ordnance disposal and counter-IED techniques. Following the March explosion at the Balaklia arms depot, NATO’ Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme is providing personal protection such as bomb suits and demining equipment, as well as communication systems to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.
The NATO SPS Programme is also working in close cooperation with partner countries to develop advanced mine detection technologies to ensure a better, safer and more efficient demining process. Examples include: subsurface radar technology in Ukraine; devices suitable for demining in the Egyptian desert; and techniques tailored to under-water mine detection in Montenegro.
The United Nations General Assembly declared in 2005 that 4 April of each year shall be observed as The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.