The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC in collaboration with the Singapore Health Service (SingHealth) and the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), launched its first session of a 6-week Online Training Course on Psychosocial Support for medical and nurse students in Cambodia. The training course is made possible by the ASEAN-Korean Cooperation Fund supporting the implementation of the project, “Enhance Victim Assistance Programme in the ASEAN Member States.”
The course covers topics on (i) Psychosocial Impact of Landmines/ Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), and (ii) defining What trauma is and how it impacts on landmine survivors.
The first week of training led by an experienced Senior Principal Psychologist from SingHealth, Dr. Evelyn Boon, specialized on Trauma working at the Department of Psychology Singapore General Hospital. ARMAC and CMAA teams were facilitating the training.
This training is designed to enhance clinical skills on psychological and psychiatric interventions and support for victims of ERW (mine/UXO) for doctors, psychiatrists, medical-nurse students, nurses and other allied health workers in Cambodia. Best practices resulted from this training will be discussed and selected to potentially replicate in other ERW (mine/UXO) affected ASEAN member states including Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.
National Consultative Meetings. The Establishment of Regional Victim Assistance Network
Hanoi: 4 May 2022
On 4 May 2022, under the project “Enhance Victim Assistance Programme in the ASEAN Member States” supported by ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC), in collaboration with the Vietnam Mine Action Center (VNMAC) hosted the hybrid National Consultative Meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The is the second planned national consultative meetings to promote the establishment of the Regional Victim Assistance Network.
The participants shared knowledge and best practices on victim services implementation in the country as well as the establishment of the Regional VAN through the lens of the International Mine Action Standard (IMAS) 13.10, and integrated approach to victim assistance and voice of victims.
The Meeting led by the Executive Director of ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center, Mr. Prum Suonpraseth. Mr. Nguyen Hanh Phuc, Deputy Director General of Viet Nam Mine Action Center (VNMAC), and Mr. Wee Joon Seok, Counsellor to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam were the guests of honors delivering the remarks.
The meeting brought together over 40 participants in-person and online from all relevant national and international networks and stakeholders (including landmine/ERW survivors/victims) working with and/or supporting the victim of landmine/ERW and other persons with disabilities.
On 27 April 2022, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) convened its 18th Steering Committee (SC) Meeting, under the Cambodian Chairmanship. The Meeting presented key accomplishments in the first quarter of the year, and discussed outstanding issues namely, financial sustainability of ARMAC, financial and in-kind contribution to-date, and recommendations from the independent evaluation of ARMAC’s performance and achievements.
In his closing remarks, ARMAC Chair urged everyone present that ” there is a need to adapt our strategy to make it more relevant in facing the challenges; in order to do that, ARMAC SC needs to be proactive, lead ARMAC and convince others to support us so we can move forward”.
H.E Mr. Ung Rachana, ARMAC Chair and Undersecretary of State of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, led the meeting. The meeting was attended by over 25 representatives from the 10 ASEAN Member States.
A workshop hosted in Phnom Penh aimed at sharing knowledge to assist the Philippines to enhance their explosive hazards management capacity concluded on Thursday. The event was proclaimed a ‘resounding success’ by Mr. Prum Suonpraseth, Executive Director of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC), which co-hosted the event with the Fondation Suisse de Déminage (FSD) France, and the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines.
This event has brought together representatives from mine action programs from around the ASEAN member states to share their considerable knowledge and experience with our neighbors from the Philippines who are in the midst of developing their own explosive hazard management mechanisms, particularly in Western Mindanao. It resulted in a detailed road map of possible future policy, operational and capacity development activities to be considered by the Philippines authorities. Mr Suonpraseth stated.
The workshop which ran for two and a half days, was opened with an address by H.E. Mr. Ly Thuch, Vice President 1 and Senior Minister, Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, who was joined by H.E. Ms. Amelita Aquino, Ambassador of the Philippines to Cambodia and H.E. Mr. Hussein Munoz, Minister and Member of Parliament, Ministry of Public Order and Safety, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). H.E Mr. Ly Thuch stated: We often speak of regional cooperation, and today represents a tangible demonstration and a firm commitment to such cooperation. I recall back in 2012, Cambodia initiated the idea of establishing a Regional Humanitarian Mine Action Centre, mindful that the maintenance of human security is an integral part of the ASEAN Community Building efforts. Thus, ARMAC was created in line with the spirit of the APSC Blueprint that seeks to ensure that all member states of ASEAN, and indeed, all sectors of the society, benefit from the ASEAN process. The workshop featured presentations from the national mine action authorities of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam, focusing on international best practice and lessons learned in the establishment of national and regional coordination mechanisms. There was also a case study presented on the development of the Afghanistan mine action program over the past twenty years. This type of knowledge sharing is exactly the type of regional cooperation that ARMAC was founded for. Mr. Suonpraseth added.
The workshop was focused on the Bangsamoro Region of Western Mindanao Island which has suffered from of decades of conflict, before a peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front concluded in 2014 with the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro. As a result of the conflict, items of unexploded ordnance still remain littered around the region, posing an ongoing hazard to the local inhabitants. The workshop was funded by the European Union.
International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
Phnom Penh: 4th of April 2022, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC), in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Fund, marked the 2022 International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action by acknowledging the progress ASEAN Member States, and all the partners and Friends of ARMAC have made in addressing landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). However, they acknowledged that while the threat of explosive ordnance remains in the ASEAN Member States, so too must efforts continue to keep these dangers in public consciousness through consistent and regular Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) and awareness raising.
COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL MINE AWARENESS AND ASSISTANCE IN MINE ACTION DAY INTHE ASEAN REGION– 4 APRIL 2022
The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC), with support from the Government of Japan, hosted an event to commemorate International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on 4 April 2022 in Phnom Penh. The event commenced with a knowledge sharing session, with international experts discussing innovations in the field of Explosive Ordnance Risk Education or EORE. World Education, Mine Mark Foundation and MAG International presented innovative projects in the field.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
At the conclusion of workshop, distinguished guests of the diplomatic community assembled to mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. In her keynote address, Her Excellency Mrs. Eat Sophea, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia underscored that, “the campaign to enhance mine awareness remain a crucial tool not only to educate people of their danger and long-term impacts to affected communities, but also to maintain mine-free and victim assistance effort high on the national and international agendas”.
His Excellency Mr. Chiba Akira, Ambassador of Japan to the ASEAN also addressed the event, highlighting the nearly 50 years of cooperation between Japan and ASEAN and the support that Japan has afforded both to ARMAC and broader mine action efforts within Cambodia and the region. He emphasized the importance of regional approaches and international organizations, given the current turbulence in international relations. He said: The political and security dynamics around the world have been rapidly changing, and ASEAN has become more important than ever in coping with challenges we face.
Diplomatic representatives from ASEAN member states also addressed the event, with His Excellency Mr. U Thit Linn Ohn, Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and His Excellency Mr. Panyarak Poolthup, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand, both highlighting achievements and progress made in the mine action field that have recently been accomplished within their respective states. Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority Secretary General Mr. Prum Sophakmonkol spoke on behalf of Cambodia The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is marked annually on 4 April across the world. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly called on all states to commemorate this date and continue their efforts to support the development of national mine-action capacities in countries affected by mines and explosive remnants of war. Explosive ordnance (EO) unfortunately still constitutes a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, and an impediment to social and economic development in five of the ten ASEAN Member States.
The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) has just released its 2021 Annual Report.
The report features sections on the Viet Nam’s Chairmanship of the Steering Committee of ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC), the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations, programme highlights, how the programme is tracking against its 2019-2021 work plan, financial updates, and plans beyond 2021.
Like many entities the COVID-19 pandemic impacted ARMAC but also drove a lot of innovation in terms of the use of virtual format tools to make user experience, sharing of knowledge and expertise exchange, seminars and large meetings feasible.
The establishment of the Friends of ARMAC (FOA) is a key new initiative for 2021, elevating ARMAC’s interconnection with current and prospective partners enabling the organisation to streamline resource mobilisation for ARMAC and ASEAN Member States in need.
One of the key new activities for 2021 is the establishment of the victim assistance stakeholders in building strong networks and providing adequate assistance to vulnerable women, men, girls and boys in the region. In addition, ARMAC will be potentially launching the “Build Regional Community of Practice in Mine Action among the ASEAN Member States” programme, potentially commencing in late 2021.
Technical Working Group Meeting for the Project, "Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Resource Mobilization Capacity in Mine/ERW in ASEAN"
On December 23, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the People’s Republic of China kicked off an online Technical Working Group Meeting for the Project, “Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Resource Mobilization Capacity in Mine/ERW in ASEAN”. The Meeting presented new technologies and innovations such as the use of digital EORE, environmentalism in mine action; successful country cases on maximizing impact and mobilizing resources; and best practices of regional cooperation and partnership within and outside the ASEAN region. A draft matrix on priority areas for enhancing regional cooperation and mobilizing resources for sector was the key output of the meeting. Thirty senior level officials and representatives from government ministries, bilateral donors, international organizations and NGOS, and UNDP participated. This is the first TWG Meeting for the PRC-funded project. The next TWG meeting is slated in the end of Quarter 1 of 2022.