Blog

16 Sep
National Consultative Meetings on ASEAN Mine Risk Education

National Consultative Meetings on ASEAN Mine Risk Education

Supported by the Government of Japan, through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the meeting in Hanoi is the final national consultative meeting in a one-year project aimed at developing a comprehensive and integrated approach to Mine Risk Education (MRE) that will build on the best practices of ASEAN Member States (AMS) in educating their populations on the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). As an initiative of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC), the meetings were aimed at fostering discussion on the AMS’ current approach to MRE, and to bring those affected by mines and ERW together to share their knowledge and experiences in order to build an integrated approach to MRE that can be used throughout the region.

On 6 August 2019, H.E. Mr. Prum Sophakmonkol, Secretary General of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), remarked that the meeting “presents a good opportunity for Cambodia to further strengthen its national Mine Risk Education programme and to document its best practices so that other ASEAN Member States can learn from Cambodia’s experience.”

On 13 August 2019, the meeting in Myanmar was opened by Mr. U Win Naing Tun, Director General of the Department of Rehabilitation, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, who remarked at the meeting that “nine out of Myanmar’s 15 States/Regions are contaminated with landmines, Explosive Remnant of War. The Mine Risk Working Group (MRWG) was established over seven years ago as an inter-ministerial and inter-agency coordination platform under the co-leadership of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and UNICEF to ensure mine action interventions are aligned with international standards and lessons learned in Myanmar. The MRWG is now working closely with international forums like ARMAC to better respond to the needs of the affected population. We are glad that experiences from Myanmar will contribute to the integrated approach to Mine Risk Education in ASEAN.”

Following the meeting in Myanmar on 16 August 2019, a National Consultative Meeting was also organised in Bangkok, Thailand with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand. During the opening remarks, Dr. Suriya Chindawongse, Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand, mentioned that the project’s implementation is an important step for ASEAN to raise awareness towards the dangers of mines/ERW and the efforts to address them.

H.E. Mr. Thongphane Savanphet, Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR, opened the National Consultative Meeting on 22 August 2019, in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Lao has made progress with regards to MRE, for example Lao has integrated unexploded ordinance awareness activities into the primary schools’ curriculum in contaminated provinces to reduce the risk of further casualties.

On 16 September 2019, Ms. Le Thi Thu, Deputy Director General, Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, gave opening remarks, and underlined Viet Nam’s commitment to working with AMS in various issues including mine action.

In regard to the importance of the meetings, Mr Ly Panharith, Executive Director of ARMAC, mentioned “ARMAC appreciated the input from the mine risk education stakeholders in all mine/ERW affected ASEAN Member States (i.e. Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam) who have been handling mine risk education with various innovative approaches. Their experience and knowledge are of critical importance to develop the integrated approach to mine risk education.”

Looking towards the future, the next steps for the MRE project will be to hold a side event during the Fourth Review Conference on a Mine-Free World on 25-29 November 2019 in Oslo, Norway, so as to establish a platform for ASEAN countries to form a collaborative community of MRE experts and stakeholders. Ultimately, it is hoped that through these consultative meetings, research and other activities undertaken through the project, that the number of victims of mines/ERW can be minimised and in so doing the socio-economic impact of mines is reduced and sustainable development outcomes are improved.

(ARMAC 16 September 2019)

05 Sep
Gender Equality and Empowerment in ASEAN Mine Action Workshop

Gender Equality and Empowerment in ASEAN Mine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Action

The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center, the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) with funding support from the Government of Canada (Mission of Canada to ASEAN) and the Clearing for Results Project, is pleased to announce the Regional Workshop, “Gender Equality and Empowerment in ASEAN Mine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Action” to be held 21-22 October 2019 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

ARMAC, Lao PDR and Canada, along with other partners, are hosting the Regional Workshop with an aim to enhance ASEAN regional knowledge and cooperation on the issue of gender equality and empowerment. The Workshop aims:

  • To enhance participants’ knowledge on gender approaches and perspectives in Mine/ERW action programme activities including Mine/ERW clearance, Mine/ERW risk education and victim assistance.
  • To identify the challenges in implementing the gender approaches and perspectives; and recommend how to address these challenges
  • To share experiences and best practices on gender mainstreaming between ASEAN Member States.

To learn more about Canada’s contributions to ASEAN, visit the Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Website.

(ARMAC, 05 September 2019)

19 Aug
Operational Efficiency In Mine Action Training

Operational Efficiency In Mine Action Training

The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) in collaboration with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining – GICHD, and the Government of Ireland, organised and hosted an ASEAN regional training on “Operational Efficiency in Mine Action” to be held from 19-24 August 2019 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The six-day training course will draw mine action professionals and managers from across the ASEAN Member States with the aim of enhancing participants’ knowledge and skills in order to efficiently plan, implement, monitor, assess and evaluate mine action operations.

To underscore much of the rationale for the training, the GICHD stated that improving operational efficiency in mine action is a fundamental task as “resources for responding to mine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination problems are costly, limited and precious.”

The training was opened by H.E. Mr. Ly Thuch, the Senior Minister and First Vice President of Cambodian Mine Action Authority, who remarked that “the training will help provide important information and practical advice to be implemented across the ASEAN region.”

Ultimately, the training will seek to provide participants with a foundation of knowledge that they can bring back to their respective countries and mine action programmes so that the overall ASEAN mine action sector can be made both more efficient and effective.

(ARMAC 19 August 2019)

15 Aug
Meeting with the Ministry of Social Welfare in Myanmar

Meeting with Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Myanmar

Following on from the Mine Risk Education Consultative Meeting that occurred earlier this week in Myanmar, ARMAC also had the great pleasure to join a meeting with H.E. Dr. Win Myat Aye, Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Myanmar

Through collaborative meetings with key partners such as this ARMAC hopes to deepen ties and strengthen outcomes with all interested ASEAN Member States. Our sincere thanks to Myanmar for a successful visit!

(ARMAC 15 August 2019)

12 Aug
CBRNe Event – Kuala Lumpur in October

CBRNe Event - Kuala Lumpur in October

ARMAC is pleased to provide information regarding a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive materials (CBRNe) event organised by IB Consultancy in Kuala Lumpur on 22-24 October 2019. IB Consultancy was previously a speaker during ARMAC’s Regional Workshop and provided insights on how the private sector can support humanitarian mine action.

Their NCT Asia event will host the largest CBRNe, C-IED and EOD conference of the region with a parallel conference and workshop stream, welcoming high-level decision-makers, civil and military operators, as well as industry experts relevant to combating Non-Conventional Threats. NCT Asia 2019 will be welcoming delegations from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, and South Korea, amongst many others.

For more information on the event please visit http://www.nct-asia.com/

(ARMAC 12 August 2019)

08 Aug
Information Management Stakeholder Workshop

Information Management Stakeholder Workshop

This week ARMAC was pleased to provide support at a workshop for Information Management Stakeholders in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The workshop was co-hosted by the Cambodian Mine Action Authority and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, and provided key inputs which will help to develop Cambodia’s new National Mine Action Database.

All participants were fully engaged during the series of presentations and group discussions, producing valuable information that will shape the development of Cambodia’s new Information Management System for Mine Action.

(ARMAC 09 August 2019)

25 Jun
ARMAC Releases the First Issue of Its Newsletter

ARMAC Releases the First Issue of Its Newsletter

On the 25th of June 2019, ARMAC launched and sent out the first issue of its inaugural newsletter.

The newsletter will allow us to brief you on ARMAC’s news items such as our programme achievements, key meetings, future events and other interesting updates. Our aim is to provide you with something that is easy to read, genuine and informative.

Be sure to subscribe to future issues at ARMAC’s newsletter subscription page.

The first newsletter can be viewed here.

(ARMAC 25 June 2019)

12 Jun
10th Steering Committee Meeting of ARMAC

10th Steering Committee Meeting

On 12 June 2019, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) hosted the 10th Meeting of the Steering Committee, at ARMAC’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Panyarak Poolthup, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Kingdom of Cambodia and Chair of the Steering Committee of ARMAC. The meeting was also attended by representatives from all ten ASEAN Member States, the Executive Director of ARMAC, and the Permanent Secretariat.

The meeting was the second Steering Committee to be held in 2019 under Thailand’s Chairmanship, and it reviewed ARMAC’s current progress in implementing its three-year workplan. In particular, the meeting noted the successful conclusion of ARMAC’s International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the recently initiated mine risk education project, funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) and several other upcoming projects.

The meeting was concluded with closings remarks by H.E. Mr. Panyarak Poolthup, who thanked the members for their active participation and their continued commitment to mine action in ASEAN.

(ARMAC 12 June 2019)

04 Jun
ARMAC Welcomes Cadets From Thailand

ARMAC Welcomes Cadets From Thailand

Today, ARMAC had the great pleasure to welcome thirty three cadets from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (CRMA) based in the Kingdom of Thailand to our headquarters in Phnom Penh. The visit gave the cadets an opportunity to learn about the role of ARMAC and how we assist ASEAN Member States in mine action.

(ARMAC 04 June 2019)

30 May
Japan Strengthens Mine Risk Education In ASEAN

Japan Strengthens Mine Risk Education In ASEAN

In May 2019, the Japanese Government through the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) provided the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) with an approximate amount of USD 156,000 funding to enhance Mine Risk Education (MRE) in a number of countries across the ASEAN region.

The funding will go towards supporting a one-year project to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to MRE that will build on the best practices of ASEAN Member States in educating their populations on the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW).

Currently, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam are affected by mines/ERW, and ARMAC, through a set of consultative meetings, aims to bring these countries together to share their knowledge and experiences to build a regional approach to MRE that can be used throughout the ASEAN context. The Executive Director of ARMAC, Mr. Ly Panharith, explained that “the fundamental goal of the project will be to establish a platform for ASEAN countries to speak to and learn from one another so that a collaborative community of MRE experts and stakeholders can be established.” Going further, Mr. Ly said ARMAC intended “to build upon the already existing successes of MRE in some countries and share these with the broader community so that all ASEAN Member States, and in particular those individuals most at risk, can be educated on how to avoid mines/ERW and what actions to take when encountering them.”

In addition, to the development of an integrated approach to MRE the funding provided by JAIF will also go towards enriching ARMAC’s dissemination of mine/ERW related information to the public through a redesign of its website and social media accounts.

In a similar vein the funding will also support the launch of an MRE magazine that will help to spread awareness on mines/ERW by sharing examples of successes, recent innovations and new approaches as well as case studies highlighting individual ASEAN Member State’s current mine action programmes running in affected communities.

The last component of the MRE project the funding aims to fund is the promotion of the 4th of April as a day of celebration to mark the official ASEAN day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Supporting a ceremony in 2020, the funding will cover an event that brings together government ministries, institutions and organisations involved in the mine/ERW sector to raise awareness on the issue and mobilise resources for mine action in ASEAN.

For its part, the Government of Japan has been a key contributor to mine action in ASEAN for a number of years and has stated that it is committed to “support[ing] efforts to address the humanitarian aspects of landmines and explosive remnants of war in the region through Japan’s support in financial and technical assistance, and capacity building.” The recent funding issued to ARMAC will go a long way to achieving Japan’s goal to support mine action, and will also directly assist those most vulnerable to mines/ERW in living safe and productive lives.

(ARMAC 30 May 2019)