The government signed an agreement yesterday to host as well as grant privileges and immunities to the Asean Regional Mine Action Centre.
In the ceremony yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn signed an agreement with Singaporean Ambassador Michael Tan, who was acting in his capacity as the chairman of the Steering Committee of ARMAC for 2018.
Mr Tan said the Singaporean embassy in Cambodia would endeavour to work closely with the ARMAC Steering Committee, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and other relevant institutions to ensure that ARMAC’s first year in operation was a success.
“We will work toward establishing a strong foundation for ARMAC such as putting in place a sustainable system, process and template,” he said. “This is to ensure that its operations and functions are transparent, efficient and accountable.”
According to a statement by ARMAC, the agreement is the key legal instrument that embodies Cambodia’s commitment and support to ARMAC as the host country to its headquarters.
It added that the agreement set out the duties and responsibilities of the parties as well as the privileges and immunities granted by the Cambodian government to ARMAC to enable it to perform its functions and operate effectively.
The establishment of the ARMAC headquarters in Cambodia was an initiative of Prime Minister Hun Sen during Cambodia’s chairmanship of Asean in 2012.
Mr Sokhonn said the agreement would provide ARMAC with more formal cooperation, particularly between the centre and the Cambodian government.
He added that support from Cambodia and other member states would help ARMAC to discharge its full mandate with regard to promoting the dangers of explosive remnants of war and unexploded ordnance in the Asean region.
“Moving forward, Cambodia still stands ready to continue assisting the centre and I strongly believe that all Asean member states are at the same position,” Mr Sokhonn said.
ARMAC executive director Ly Panharith said there were six member states – the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam – that faced UXO and ERW dangers.
He added that ARMAC would not clear mines, UXOs or ERW, but it would share knowledge and experience with member states, which would then clear it by themselves.