Global Counter-IED MapInternational Counter-IED operations

United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)

Location: Geneva, SwitzerlandUNMAS


The United Nations Mine Action Service is an international UN body tasked with forming a coherent response to the problems of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs). It coordinates with a number of other UN bodies as well as various local organisations and government institutions. It serves as the ‘focal point for mine action’. Since 1999, when the Anti-Personnel Mine Convention came into force, UNMAS has also coordinated standing committees and the Steering Committee on Mine Action.

Although UNMAS’ main field of operations has been and continues to be de-mining and counter-mine action, as suggested by its name, it has also developed IED threat mitigation expertise. Victim-activated IEDs, in any case, are often deployed in a similar or identical way to anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines. UNMAS provides training and assistance to elements of UN task forces. It has trained more than 812 NGO personnel in IED reporting, more than 150,000 civilians in IED risk awareness and more than 1,466 UN peacekeepers in IED techniques.

UNMAS is partially responsible for the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA). It also supports the activities of MINUSMA in Mali and have aided AMISOM IEDD teams.

This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.