He said UNICEF facilitates risk education activities, and since April 2011, 185,000 beneficiaries have been reached through risk education, a large majority of those have been Libyan Children. He added that UNSMIL, through UNMAS, supported operational planning, clearance and destruction of approximately 165,000 explosive remnants of war across Libya, as well as monitored and advised on the accounting, safe storage and control of arms and ammunition and the management of weapons.
He also pointed out that since December 2012, there were no casualties reported as a result of explosive remnants of war and that illustrates the positive and successful efforts of risk education.
But he added: “Despite this tangible and impressive progress, explosive remnants of war, unsecured ammunition, the proliferation of weapons, and the dangerous use of fireworks continue to pose a serious risk to the Libyan people - especially children.”
De Rooy called for the need to continue working collaboratively on the issue to mitigate the threats.
He also appealed to the government of Libya also to continue strengthening state controls and encouraged the authorities to explore ratification, accession and adherence to international normative instruments, including the Antipersonnel Mine-Ban Convention, Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
A Press Release for the event said UNICEF has been working with Handicap International to develop the capacity of staff from the Ministry of Education and school teachers to deliver a school-based mine risk education programme, including information on small arms and light weapons.
“Our aim is for children to understand the risks of associated with these dangerous items and we know that posters and leaflets are an effective way of changing their behaviours,” Sara Rijavec, the small arms and light weapons project manager at Handicap International, was quoted in the Press Release as saying.