(RNN) – The "Most Interesting Man in the World" has gone beyond the world of commercials and memes to bring awareness to the plight of landmine and bomb accident survivors.
Jonathan Goldsmith, who plays the role in Dos Equis commercials, has become the latest celebrity to draw attention to the destructive impact of landmines.
He's joining forces with Clear Path International as an adviser to the board of directors, the nonprofit organization announced in a recent news release.
"Clear Path International is doing important work providing assistance to innocent victims of conflict," Goldsmith stated in the release. "I am glad to help in any way I can to bring more attention to their work, and I hope others join me in doing so."
The U.S.-based organization assists civilian victims of landmine and bombing accidents in five countries, including Vietnam and Afghanistan, which has the highest number of civilian explosive injuries.
International pressure against anti-personnel mines led to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which has since been signed by 161 nations. The U.S. is one of 36 countries that have not joined the treaty, despite President Bill Clinton's initial support for the effort in 1994, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Others countries not supporting the ban include Pakistan, the Russian Federation and China.
Landmine use has dramatically dropped, but the weapon still poses a threat because old mines litter landscapes "on roads, footpaths, farmers' fields, forests, deserts, along borders, in and surrounding houses and schools, and in other places where people carry out their daily activities," stated The International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
"They can deny access to food, water, and other basic needs, and inhibit freedom of movement," the group added.
When detonated, these anti-personnel devices cause grievous injuries "like blindness, burns, destroyed limbs and shrapnel wounds."
In 2009, the latest year estimated figures were available, 3,956 reported casualties were inflicted by mines and other war-related explosives, with 1,041 related deaths, according to the ICBL. The organization qualified the numbers by calling data collection on mine incidents "largely inadequate."
As of September 2010, 66 nations were confirmed or suspected to be affected by landmines and 23 nations were thought to have cluster munitions remnants, the group stated.
Removing landmines, a dangerous task, is made more difficult because of lax record keeping during the mines' placement, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Other celebrity anti-landmine advocates have included the late Princess Diana and Heather Mills, Paul McCartney's ex-wife.
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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