The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) held an ‘Art, Essay and Poetry Contest’ in celebrating the 11th International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. They called upon contestants to unleash their creativity and to share their thoughts (and feelings) through drawings, paintings, photography, short essays or poetry (in English or French) on this year’s theme: “Mine Action is Humanitarian Action”. The best entries would be displayed at a special exhibition and authors of the best pieces are invited to present their work at the Palais des Nations.
Mia Tosic, student of Master of International Relations at the Geneva School of Diplomacy, was selected as one of the winners with her poem. She was invited to hold a speech and present her poem at the exhibition opening, held on the 4th of April in the Serpent bar of the UN building. Mia on her speech: ‘It was an amazing feeling and I talked about my inspiration for the poem as well as a little bit about my background’.
Winning poem, by Mia Tosic
They were here
In my land
Planting seeds of hurt and pain
They were there
In your field
Planting hurt where ought be flowers
Once harvested, land sat still
You thought you were safe again
But mines wait for your silent kill
They don’t disappear with rain
For those who clean my land
Are those who keep me safe
For those who reach out their hand
Are those who give me future
Again, the sky will be so blue
Safely through my fields I’ll run
Picking up flowers where I can
Smiling at the Sun
UNMAS is the United Nations focal point for mine action. It addresses unsecured and poorly-managed stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, improvised explosive devices, dangerous storage depots, unexploded ordnance, landmines, and cluster munitions. UNMAS is a part of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.