Mona Juul, permanent representative of Norway to the United Nations, representing the Presidency of the 4th Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), speaks at a press conference on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, at the UN headquarters in New York, April 4, 2019. The United Nations said Thursday that some 170 civilians are killed by mines per month, a sharp increase in explosive hazard casualties over the past five years. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations said Thursday that some 170 civilians are killed by mines per month, a sharp increase in explosive hazard casualties over the past five years.
"At one point, we were optimistic that the number of victims in Afghanistan was below a hundred a year, but now we are at 170 a month," Agnes Marcaillou, director of the UN Mine Action Service, told a press conference held at the UN headquarters in New York on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
Talking about the reasons behind the sharp increase, she said that "it's a combination of factors," including the duration and intensity of conflicts and "the volume of weaponry being used has increased."
Marcaillou also briefed the press on similar problems in other countries including Syria.
Speaking about the demining situation across the world, she said that "funding is really linear," adding that it is "the key" to mine action.
The theme of this year's International Day for Mine Awareness is: "United Nations Promotes SDGs -- Safe Ground -- Safe Home."
On Dec. 8, 2005, the UN General Assembly declared that April 4 of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
It called for continued efforts by states, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.