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Centers and Organizations, UNMAS, 2017, Annual Report


This year, UNMAS marks two decades of needs-driven, people-centred work. I consider it a great honour to direct an organisation that received the 2017 United Nations Foundation award for Global Leadership; a fitting accolade to my colleagues working across continents to bring the United Nations vision of a world free from the threat of mines and explosive remnants of war to fruition. This annual report provides an insight into the courageous work carried out by my colleagues for the millions of people for whom the UN is, so often, their only means of survival. The UNMAS team works frequently in dangerous conditions, defusing improvised explosive devices and unexploded bombs on a daily basis. We wake up every morning believing we can make the world a little less dangerous - a world free from the threat of landmines and explosive hazards. UNMAS supports the entire UN system with a very small 30-person team at headquarters and some 5,000 women and men in the field. UNMAS is a formidable, specialized organization, which delivers concrete results. It is fast moving and dynamic, constantly adapting to new devices and new risks. UNMAS shows how big an impact a small UN entity can make. Twenty years ago, landmines were killing en masse and hampering the humanitarian, peacekeeping and development work of the UN. That is why, also 20 years ago, in a visionary resolution, the General Assembly welcomed the creation of a specialized UN service: UNMAS. The threat of mines and explosive hazards is not an incurable disease. This report demonstrates that if we stay united and work together, much can and will be done.



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