The European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme and UNFICYP
Open an exhibit to mark International Day for Mine Awareness
Thursday March 29, 2012 - 4 pm
Home for Cooperation, opposite Ledra Palace Hotel, Nicosia
On the 13th anniversary of the entry into force of the Ottawa Treaty and in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly resolution declaring the 4th of April of each year as International Day for Mine Awareness, an inspirational global campaign has been launched to put a full stop, within our lifetime, to the harm that mines still cause.
The three organisations are launching a call for all Cypriots to join in the “Lend Your Leg” initiative to stop the devastating effects of landmines. The exhibit to be held at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia, from 29 March to 6 April 2012 will be featuring detailed descriptions of landmines removed from the buffer zone in the recent past and a short documentary of the land mine removal project in Cyprus.
Since the beginning of the UN mine action programme in November 2004, over 27,000 landmines have been cleared and destroyed by UN de-miners in Cyprus. In all, 73 mined areas have been cleared throughout the buffer zone amounting to almost 11 square kilometres of land; land which is now in condition to be farmed for productive gain and sustainable use.
UN de-mining activities have also helped pave the way for the opening of crossing points across the island, such as the Ledra Street crossing in downtown Nicosia and in Limnitis / Yeşilırmak in the northwest. Ridding the island of these deadly obstacles has enabled the two communities to move around more freely and has provided more opportunities for various contacts including trade and commerce.
While much work has been done and major strides taken, more work needs to be done if we are to achieve our stated goal of a mine-free buffer zone and eventually a mine-free Cyprus.
Since the Mine Ban Treaty became law 13 years ago, 80 per cent of the world’s countries have banned anti-personnel landmines, millions of mines have been removed from the ground and destroyed and billions of dollars have been invested in stopping the damage mines do.
Despite this, last year’s Landmine Monitor recorded 4,191 new casualties of landmines worldwide: nearly 12 people every day. Tens of thousands of survivors, often in vulnerable and poor communities, are still coping with the terrible consequences of the injuries landmines cause.
Mobile: +(357) 99-61-61-97 (South)
Mobile: +(90-533) 839-5045 (North)
To see the UNFICYP video “Towards a Mine-free Cyprus”, visit the website: www.unficyp.org/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=3131&tt=graphic&lang=l1&videopath=20110120
To see photographs related to this event, please visit the following websites: