The 4 April 2015 International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action event in Yangon was attended for the first time by a key government official. Myint Swe, Chief Minister of Yangon Region gave the keynote speech. In his speech Myint Swe emphasized that the Government had been pursuing discussions on a nationwide cease-fire with the country’s ethnic groups which would lead to the signing of Peace Agreements. Myint Swe claimed that the government was pursuing these discussions because landmines have caused civilian casualties.

The International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action commemoration auspiciously coincided with the signing of the Draft Ceasefire Agreement between 21 Non-State Armed Groups and military and Government officials two days previously.

The UN Secretary-General’s message for International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was read by the Senior Advisor for Peace and Development to the UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar, who also represented the UN for the first time at a mine action event.

Handicap International urged the Government to prioritize humanitarian support and access to landmine survivor in a presentation at the event, which also included a practical demonstration of humanitarian mine clearance by Norwegian People’s Aid and an exhibition on advocacy and material and safety measures / personal protective equipment for mine clearing by Halo Trust.

The International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action event in Yangon was organised by local civil society organizations, including Peace Myanmar Aid Foundation, the Association of Myanmar Disabled Women’s Affairs, the Humanitarian Mine Action Initiative. Over a hundred people attended the event, including the Media Lawyers’ Network, landmine survivors, disabled and concerned citizens.

The Government television channel broadcast the event nationwide in two parts during two subsequent consecutive days. This was the first such coverage of the event by channel, which was also reported in other national media.

News items related to the event:

5m in landmine peril, groups warns, Eleven Myanmar
Mine clearance groups await ceasefire agreement, the Nation

 
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