A Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority delegation last week briefed representatives from more than 100 countries on efforts to make Cambodia mine-free by 2025 at the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines during its official visit to Switzerland.
“The international community appreciates the historic success of the security and rapid development of Cambodia under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen and one of the successes is the inclusion of humanitarian demining works,” a CMAA statement said. “The state parties and international community recognize the scope of the threat caused by mines in Cambodia that needs the resources and support for the implementation of the 2018-2025 National Mine Action Strategic Plan.”
“The state parties, donor countries and important international partners congratulated and welcome the efforts of the government which outlined its commitment to demining especially by providing funds to this area,” it added.
It noted that Australia, Switzerland, the US, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and New Zealand said that they would continue to provide financial support for mine clearing efforts in Cambodia, while other countries who are interested requested for visits to examine the feasibility of supporting the efforts to make Cambodia mine free by 2025.
According to the CMAA, Cambodia has 966 square kilometres of mines, which the country is committed to clear by 2025, an extension from 2019, because of complications in demining work, decreasing resources and unfinished border demarcation.
Ly Thuch, senior minister and the vice president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, yesterday said that the international community is interested in helping Cambodia.
“Our delegation has been to Switzerland to have a meeting with other countries and our objective was to tell the whole world that our government under our prime minister has brought back peace, security and political stability,” he said.
Mr Thuch said that demining work is conducted throughout the country without any hindrance, insecurity or war and that the country has also outlined its vision on demining and the government’s focus on making it a priority task.
“I want to show the world that we have a strong commitment and stance regarding demining,” he said. “We outlined the national strategic plan on demining as a roadmap towards mine clearance and met with representatives of donor countries to thank them on behalf of the government and request for the continuous support until 2025 to make the country mine-free.”
“The donor countries appreciate our work and our commitment to do this humanitarian work and they heard our request to help make the country free of mines. Their stance shows they further support our country to continue the work.”
“We also met representatives of countries that do not help us and hope that they will start to support us in the future. During the meeting, we held a forum to explain our successes in demining work,” he added.