High-Level Dialogue on Mine Action Held in Siem Reap

H.E. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister and First Vice-President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority today co-chaired the High-Level Dialogue on Mine Action in Siem Reap province with H.E. Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.

As Cambodia marks 30 years of demining this year, H.E. Ly Thuch expressed special thanks to donor countries and partners such as the U.S., UK, Japan, Australia, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, China, Canada, Korea, Ireland, Hungary, India, UN agencies, foundations and humanitarian organisations.

This event is the first initiative in Cambodia to bring everybody together to support mine action in Cambodia, said H.E. Senior Minister, adding “that is a call for all of us to join hands and help our people to be free from the danger of mines.”

H.E. Ly Thuch continued that all donors and partners had made a huge contribution to mine clearance in Cambodia, while mines and UXOs are not only maiming and killing people, but also affecting the economic growth, people’s livelihoods and the country development.

For the last 30 years, with the international donors’ support and our heroes in the national and international organisations, Cambodia was able to release roughly 2,379 square kilometres of landmine/ERW contaminated land for productive purposes such as agriculture, resettlement, roads, schools, and other social infrastructure, he underlined.

Themed “Expand and Elevate Partnership Toward a Mine-Free Cambodia 2025”, the High-Level Dialogue aimed to bring together CMAA with current and new development partners, including the private sector to exchange insights and experiences to uplift the alignment and harmonisation of aid for the mine action sector and of mine action programmes with broader Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s development efforts.

This morning, H.E Senior Minister Ly Thuch led a delegation of representatives of foreign embassies accredited to Cambodia, development partners, donors and private sector to visit the Peace Museum of Mine Action, located in Prasat Bakong district, Siem Reap province, to find out about activities in the mine sector through the display of all kinds of ERW, tools, as well as the achievements that the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) has achieved so far.

Positively, thanks to the efforts in explosive ordnance clearance and risk education, the number of annual casualties has been brought down from 4,320 in 1996 to 44 in 2021.

From 1992 to April 2022, 2,379 square kilometres of contaminated land was cleared and released, on which over 1.1 million antipersonnel mines, more than 26,000 anti-tank mines, and almost 3 million ERW were found and destroyed.

About 2,000 square kilometres of land remains contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war as of April 2022. As a State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), the RGC is committed to clearing all known landmines by the end of 2025.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press