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ARMAC Executive Director attended International Forum on Mine Action under the theme: Challenges and Opportunity held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 15-17 November 2022. The Forum helped to build linkage between ARMAC and mine action communities in the central Asia region, and forged potential cooperation between ARMAC and Azerbaijan National Mine Action Authority (ANAMA).
On 13 November 2022, ARMAC Executive Director, Mr. Prum Suonpraseth attended the Round Table Discussion on Women, Peace and Security hosted by the Embassy of Canada with the honorable presence of His Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
The event gathered key stakeholders in the humanitarian mine action in Cambodia and the region as represented by ARMAC, all of whom actively involved in promoting more leadership roles for women in the sector.
On 11 November 2022, ARMAC Executive Director Mr. Prum Suonpraseth met with his Honorable Phil Twyford, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control of New Zealand. ARMAC ED expressed his appreciation for the technical support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of NZ during the 2022, and requested for further support in next fiscal year 2023. The two sides also exchanged views on how to further advance the cooperation between ARMAC and Government of NZ in line with the ASEAN-NZ Plan of Action 2021-2025 and ARMAC Five-Year Strategy Plan 2023-2027.
Phnom Penh, 3 August 2022: The ARMAC Permanent Secretariat was pleased to welcome a visit from a delegation from the Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, led by H.E. Kurt Kunz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN. During the meeting, the Executive Director of ARMAC, Mr. Prum Suonpraseth, provided an overview of ARMAC’s history and mandates, and described the outcomes from ARMAC’s recent strategy stakeholder workshops held in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Mr. Prum Suonpraseth discussed mutual areas of interest between ARMAC and the Government of Switzerland, and the possibility of ARMAC collaborating with Switzerland in support of the recently published ASEAN-Switzerland Plan of Action.
Bangkok, 1 July 2022
ARMAC Executive Director Mr. Prum Suonpraseth paid a courtesy call on H.E. Ms. Helene Budliger Artieda, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Switzerland to Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR (Residence in Bangkok) while he was on-route from attending the Intersessional Meeting of the APMBC and UN NDM 25th held in Geneva, Switzerland from 20-24 June 2022.
The official trip is meant to cement and further advance cooperation between the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center and the Swiss Federal Government as well as other international organizations and partners based in Geneva.
ARMAC ED updated the Ambassador on the progress and achievements made by ARMAC and the Strategy Plan that ARMAC is currently formulating by embarking on a wide range of consultations with AMSs and relevant partners/stakeholders in the region.
ARMAC ED thanked the Ambassador for the financial contribution made by the Swiss Government to support the operations of ARMAC Permanent Secretariat in 2022 and also exchanged views on the soon-to-be adopted ASEAN-Switzerland Plan of Action where ARMAC could play a crucial and contributing role in helping to advance ASEAN-Switzerland cooperation in area of humanitarian mine action.
On 16 June, ARMAC had the pleasure of hosting His Excellency Kwon Hee-seog, the Ambassador of the Mission of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to ASEAN, and his team. They met with ARMAC Executive Director Prum Suonpraseth and the Victim Assistance Project team to provide an overview of ARMAC, and update on the government of South Korea’s funding. Through the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund, the ROK has invested over $2 million for the implementation of the “Enhance Victim Assistance Programme in ASEAN Member States (AMSs)”. The initiative is three years long, running through 2023, and has five objectives: (1) promote the establishment of victim assistance network as a regional platform for various stakeholders among ASEAN; (2) assist the AMSs on the victim-assistance-related knowledge sharing, need/s and resource/s assessment and possibility of its mobilization; (3) assess the needs of the victims of ERW (mine/UXO) in the affected AMSs for further assistance; (4) assist the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) in providing psychosocial supports to the victims of ERW (mine/UXO); and (5) conduct research regarding the “ERW (Mine/UXO) Victim Assistance Inclusive Services in Cambodia,” as well as “Community Perspectives of Humanitarian ERW (Mine/UXO) Action in Laos and Viet Nam”.
ARMAC and affected AMSs are grateful for the government of South Korea’s generous support— the project and funding is an immense advantage in the development and strengthening of victim assistance across the region. The consequences of explosive remnants of war on local communities can be devastating but support from projects like the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund is a significant step towards countering these impacts.