Established in 1997, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) works to eliminate the threat posed by mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices by coordinating United Nations mine action, leading operational responses at the country level, and in support of peace operations, as well as through the development of standards, policies and norms.
As a specialized service of the United Nations located within the Department of Peace Operations, UNMAS operates under UN legislative mandates of both the General Assembly and the Security Council. UNMAS also responds to specific requests for support from the UN Secretary-General or designated official.
UNMAS is mandated to coordinate the mine action work of the United Nations system as Chair of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action (IACG-MA) and its subsidiary groups, a responsibility established by the General Assembly (A/RES/72/75) and confirmed by the Security Council in SCR 2365 (2017). UNMAS is also the global lead for the Mine Action Area of Responsibility within the Global Protection Cluster, the Chair of the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) Review Board and its Steering Committee and leads the United Nations Coordinating Task Force on a Whole-of-System Approach to IEDs, consistent with the Disarmament Agenda of the Secretary-General.
UNMAS supports the entire UN system through a small team at headquarters, a humanitarian hub in Geneva, and some 3,000 women and men employed through UNMAS funding in the field. UNMAS is a specialized, agile organization, which delivers concrete results in dynamic operating environments across the world. UNMAS approach is needs-driven and people-centred, guided by humanitarian principles.
“Leading, coordinating and implementing, through partnerships with States, regional bodies and civil society, UNMAS ensures an effective and efficient mine action response under the most challenging of circumstances.” António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.