ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

The Director-General

2 April 2014
“Women in Mine Action – Both halves of the sky deserve all the Earth”

Remarks by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva
“Women in Mine Action – Both halves of the sky deserve all the Earth”

Delivered on his behalf by Mr. Clemens Adams,
Officer-in-Charge, United Nations Office at Geneva

Palais des Nations, Exhibition Gallery, E Building, 3rd Floor
Wednesday, 2 April 2014 at 6 p.m.

Ambassador Sano
Ms. Marcaillou
Dear colleagues
Ladies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of the Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Mr. Michael Møller, I would like to welcome you to the opening of “Women in Mine Action – Both halves of the sky deserve all the Earth” on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Many thanks to Ms. Marcaillou and the United Nations Mine Action Service, as well as to Ambassador Sano, Head of the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament, for organizing this excellent exhibition and event.

Each year, we mark the International Mine Awareness Day to raise awareness of the ever-present threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war. The challenges are clear. Every day, 10 people are killed or maimed by a landmine. Present in some 78 countries, they are an ongoing reminder of conflicts which have been over for years or even decades. In addition to the damage inflicted on civilians, landmines disrupt social services, threaten food security, and hinder the return and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons.

As we see in the exhibition, women play an essential role in addressing these issues and in driving progress towards mine action’s central goals – increasing security, rebuilding communities, reclaiming land and ending the fear caused by explosive remnants of war.

The United Nations has called for greater measures to involve women in mine action and for governments to do more to address gender in their mine action programmes and through the implementation of the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention.

Ultimately, the goal of the United Nations is a world free of landmines and explosive remnants of war. Geneva – as a centre of humanitarian action and of disarmament efforts, and as a platform for efficient and meaningful interaction among all stakeholders – has a vital role to play in making this vision become reality.

Thank you very much.