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ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center wishes to wholeheartedly congratulate the Kingdom of Cambodia for another milestone and great achievement made in declaring the Province of Kampot (the 12th province) an anti-personnel landmine free province. We, the ASEAN community, stand behind Cambodia in solidarity, ready to collaborate, and assist in ways we can. Human security and shared prosperity is not only an aspiration of every individual ASEAN citizen, but makes ASEAN stronger as a whole.
The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) joined the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) as it commemorates its 30-year anniversary in demining efforts in the country. The 2-day event which is held from 21 November to 22 November at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre featured displays on demining progress and achievements to date, as well as materials, machinery and equipment, demonstrations of manual demining as well as the use of mine detection systems, and detection of mines and explosives by animals such as dogs and rats. Senior Minister and CMAA First Vice President Ly Thuch delivered the opening remarks where he reiterated the significant contribution of development partners, national and international operators and all stakeholders over the past 30 years to the government’s mission to clear the Kingdom of landmines and address the impacts of Cambodia’s wars of decades past. Daniel Craig, UN’s global advocate for the elimination of landmines and unexploded ordnance also issued a statement noting that more than one million Cambodians still live in areas where they are at risk due to landmines.
His Excellency and Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected to deliver the closing remarks later today.
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.
SingHealth partners with ARMAC to provide psychosocial trainings in mine/ERW-affected ASEAN member states
The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 9 December 2021 to work together on the project, ‘Enhance Victim Assistance Programme in the ASEAN Member States’. The MoU will allow SingHealth to conduct needs assessment on psychosocial supports and provide psychosocial trainings to landmine and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) victims in affected ASEAN Member States such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. ARMAC Executive Director Mr. Prum Suonpraseth and SingHealth Group Director of the International Collaboration Office Professor Tan Hiang Khoon signed the MoU. The ceremony was presided over by H.E. Mr. Pengiran Kasmirhan Pengiran Tahir, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Brunei Darussalam to the Kingdom of Cambodia, and Chair of ARMAC Steering Committee
Phnom Penh, 21 October 2021 —The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) is pleased to announce its joint collaboration with the Geneva International Center for Human Demining (GICHD) to conduct a study/research on gender equality and empowerment in mine action in the ASEAN region, more specifically a study on the mine action sector’s approach towards the monitoring and reporting of the gendered impact of land release conducted in the region with country case studies. The project will examine the overarching question of how can mine action stakeholders (donors, national authorities, and stakeholders) better understand and communicate the impact of clearance activities on gender equality and inclusion in the results chain and reporting. The outcome of the project is a joint GICHD-ARMAC paper which will be presented in a regional forum on September 2022. The study is one of the deliverables for the project, Strengthen Gender Equality and Empowerment in Mine Action in the Mine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) affected ASEAN Member States which is financed by the Government of Italy.
19 August 2021 – ARMAC signed an agreement on Co-Implementation of the project “Enhance Victim Assistance Programme in the ASEAN Member States” with Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA).
Executive Director of ARMAC, Mr. Prum Suonpraseth and Secretary General of CMAA, H.E. Mr. Prum Sophakmonkol signed on the agreement.
The new partnership between ARMAC and CMAA is established to ensure that the two parties have a mutual understanding and clear directions to implement the project. This will mark another milestone in promoting and addressing victim assistance work in Cambodia and other landmine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) affected ASEAN Member States.
01 June 2021 – ARMAC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Federation Handicap International (Humanity & Inclusion). Mekong Regional Program Director Ms. Pilar Duat Llorens, signed on behalf of HI, while Mr. Prum Suonpraseth represented ARMAC.
The online signing ceremony was attended by HI Country Manager for Cambodia Ms. Edith van Wijngaarden, HI Mine Action Coordinator in Lao Mr. Julien Kempeneers and Ms. Araceli Knaik, ARMAC Senior Technical Officer.
The MOU aims to strengthen the existing cooperation between HI and ARMAC in order to facilitate Mine Action-related joint programming and resource mobilization. The partnership will support of Mine Action-related capacity development of relevant national institutions through technical cooperation.
Phnom Penh, 11 January 2021 – The Government of the Republic of Korea through ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) provided the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) with an approximate amount of USD 2,061,429.68 to fund the “Enhance Victim Assistance Programmes in the ASEAN Member States” programme.
The aforesaid three-year programme aims to strengthen the assistance provided to victims through the achievement of five objectives. First objective of this project is to promote the establishment of a victim assistance network as a regional platform for various stakeholders within ASEAN. This network will provide a platform for victim assistance stakeholders in the region to communicate and coordinate among each other.
Taking into account the importance of expertise, knowledge and experience exchange among victim assistance stakeholders, this programme also aims to assist the AMS on victim assistance related knowledge sharing, needs and resources assessments and its mobilisation. It is hoped that through this exchange all the victim assistance stakeholders in ASEAN are able to improve their assistance provision to the victims of mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW).
This programme will also play an important role in assessing the needs of the victims of mines/ERW for the government and other victim assistance providers to consider the provision of adequate assistance to these victims. This will also help ARMAC in setting priorities for its victim assistance programme activities in the coming years.
Further, in collaboration with SingHealth, ARMAC and Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority will organise train-the-trainers in psychosocial support to victims of mines/ERW in Cambodia by targeting more than 150 trainees from various stakeholders including survivor networks, medical practitioners and relevant organisation/institution in Cambodia.
The Executive Director of ARMAC, Mr. Prum Suonpraseth, explained that “the programme will be an essential attempt for ARMAC to not only establish a platform for ASEAN Member States and relevant stakeholders to exchange expertise, knowledge and experience, but to also collaborate in providing adequate assistance to ensure the welfare of the victims of mines/ERW.” Going further, Mr. Prum highlighted that “victim assistance is the essence of ARMAC’s programme and we intend to continue facilitating assistance for a better life of these victims and their family.”
This programme will also touch upon conducting two researches on “Mine Victim Assistance Inclusive Services in Cambodia,” and “Community Perspectives on Humanitarian Mine Action in Lao PDR and Vietnam.” In the implementation, the research will emphasize the community participation to ensure outreach and effectiveness of its results once finalised.
Commencing in January 2021, the programme will be implemented until the end of 2023, benefiting communities-in-need in the ASEAN Member States, particularly those affected by mines/ERW. ARMAC also aims to engage more partners in implementing this programme.