UNMAS: Fighting Unexploded Ordnance On A Global Scale
Explosive remnants of war are the legacy of conflict. Civilians in countries as far apart as Afghanistan and Colombia live under the threat of landmines and other unexploded ordnance. Organising a coordinated response to this worldwide problem is the job of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), as they seek to realise the UN’s vision for international peace.
The United Nations
The United Nations is a mammoth organisation with a mammoth task. Since its creation in 1945, it’s been committed to maintaining international peace, reaffirming faith in human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, supporting sustainable development and upholding international law.
This sweeping task involves everything from eradicating unexploded ordnance to helping countries rebuild. Guiding the UN towards its aims is the General Assembly, consisting of representatives from all of its member states, who meet every year to create mandates for the day-to-day work of the councils under its jurisdiction. They also vote on key issues, such as membership or matters of international peace, deciding with a two-thirds majority.
However, the most powerful unit is the Security Council, consisting of five permanent states and 10 non-permanent ones, voted in by the General Assembly for terms of two years. They take responsibility for keeping the peace and sending peacekeeping forces where they might be needed, imposing arms embargoes or sanctions on non-compliant nations.
It’s under the Security Council and the General Assembly that other councils meet, such as the Department of Peace Operations, within which sits UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service), who use expertise, advocacy, support and education to combat the threat of unexploded ordnance.
Tackling Unexploded Ordnance
UNMAS is the global leader of the mine action sector, deploying its skills by upholding the UN’s ‘five pillars of mine action’.
The first and most obvious is mine clearance, sending 3000 men and women across the globe to detect and destroy unexploded ordnance, which might include landmines, IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) or ERWs (Explosive Remnants of War). With UNMAS’ demining efforts, displaced people can return to their home and humanitarian aid can reach the vulnerable. Farmers can go back to their land, children can go back to school and the community can start to rebuild.
The other pillars include support for victims of UXO-related accidents and education programmes to reduce the risk of injury from landmines. Technical support from UNMAS also helps to safely eradicate the danger from stockpiled mines, which countries joining the Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention must destroy, reducing the impact of landmine warfare for future generations. These measures, alongside advocacy for mine-related legislation, help to create a future free from the dangers of unexploded ordnance.
Back To Britain
The United Nations pursues a better world for everyone, shaping the future by aiming for ‘the 17 goals’. Some of these don’t feel relevant to the UK, such as clean water and sanitation, but our British-based UXO clearance makes it possible to build innovative infrastructure, promote economic growth and pave the way for sustainable cities and communities.
We take the UN’s vision for a better and safer world into the UK, using our Prequalification for the United Nations Peace and Security Cluster to dispose of unexploded ordnance on their behalf. Their commitment to human rights, environment and anti-corruption is also evident at Brimstone, which has been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2016.
We’re proud to be building a better world, from the ground up.
Get In Touch
Discover our UXO mitigation on our website, with services from assessment through to bomb disposal. Contact us to enquire!
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