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05 Apr
Philippines Mine Action Stakeholder Workshop

Press Release

 

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.

04 Apr
International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

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.

 

 

04 Apr
COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL MINE AWARENESS AND ASSISTANCE IN MINE ACTION DAY IN

COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL MINE AWARENESS AND ASSISTANCE IN MINE ACTION DAY IN THE ASEAN REGION– 4 APRIL 2022

Press Release

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.

15 Mar
ARMAC Annual Report 2021

ARMAC Annual Report 2021

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.

You can download a copy of the Annual Report from ARMAC’s Publications page https://aseanmineaction.org//resources/publications.

(ARMAC, 25 March 2021)

25 Mar
ARMAC Annual Report 2020

ARMAC Annual Report 2020

The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) has just released its 2020 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 2020.

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.

You can download a copy of the Annual Report from ARMAC’s Publications page https://aseanmineaction.org//resources/publications.

(ARMAC, 25 March 2021)

10 Sep
Rapid Assessment on Health and Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 to Mines/ERW Victims in Cambodia

Rapid Assessment on Health and Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 to Mines/ERW Victims in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, 10 September 2020 – Today is more or less six months since the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised Corona Virus Disease (COVID)-19 as a global pandemic. Meanwhile, countries in ASEAN and all over the world including Cambodia have been facing imminent impacts in various aspects of life, particularly health and socio-economic aspects, as ramification of COVID-19. These impacts are more severe, if not similar, to victims of mines/explosive remnants of war(ERW) in Cambodia.

Hence, in order to learn the extent of health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 to victims of mines/ERW in Cambodia, mainly in Kampong Chhnang and Pursat Provinces, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) and Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) joined efforts to conduct rapid assessment to identify health and socio-economic impacts of COVID to the victims of mines/ERW in the mid of August 2020.

In the assessment, with facilitation from Physical Rehabilitation Center (Kampong Chhnang Province) and Disability Development Service Program (Pursat Province), twenty-six (26) victims of mines/ERW from both provinces participated in the interview. Thus, ARMAC extends its gratitude for support from DDSP Pursat and PRC Kampong Chhnang. Special thanks also goes to CMAA for making the field visit and assessment happened.

The report is available at the weblink below:

https://bit.ly/2F5MklR

Further to this, ARMAC and CMAA aim to use the report to take into account challenges and/or new threats faced by victims of mines/ERW amidst the pandemic, so that projects/programmes can then better accommodate the needs required by these victims.

Disclaimer: The number of correspondents may not be as representative as it should be. However, it could give a general point of view on both impacts (in health and socio-economic aspects) and needs required by victims of mine/ERW.

(ARMAC and CMAA, 10 September 2020)

15 Jul
Upholding the Oslo Action Plan in Times of COVID-19

Upholding the Oslo Action Plan in Times of COVID-19 – A Discussion on Risk Education

Last November (2019), States Parties committed to investing in effective risk education as a primary means of protecting communities from the threat of explosive ordnance (actions 28-32 in the Oslo Action Plan – OAP). This Side Event provided an open forum for national authorities and partners to share their experiences and challenges implementing their risk education programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also ensuring do no harm.

This Side Event was co-organised by Explosive Ordnance Risk Education Advisory Group (EORE AG) and ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) on 1 July 2020, 13:00 (GMT +2) virtually, during the Intersessional Meetings of Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC). It was attended by 75 participants from 25 countries and 34 organisations, including States Parties of the APMBC, States not Party and other observers.

Having Co-hosted by Mr. Hugues Laurenge, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF and Co-Chair of the EORE AG, and Ms. Dwi Prameswari, Senior Officer, ARMAC, the Side Event featured presentations from:

  1. Flt. Lt. Chotiboon Anukulvanich, Interpreter/Coordinator of Special Affairs Division, Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC)
  2. Mr. Khaled Gebreil Alwadawi, Head of Mine Risk Education Department, Libyan Mine Action Centre (LIBMAC)
  3. Mr. Dara Seng, Deputy Director of Public Relation Department, Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA)

Further, knowledge sharing was stimulated through breakout groups and plenary discussions.

For detailed information on this event, please see the report on this event (available here: Summary – Side Event on EORE, YouTube – EORE AG ARMAC Side Event)

Key links: Oslo Action Plan, EORE AG, iMREWG

(ARMAC 15 July 2020)

19 May
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education in ASEAN

Explosive Ordnance Risk Education in ASEAN in a Time of Pandemic

The new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged and compounded the huge challenges of Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) all over the world including the ASEAN Region. In this regard, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) responded by hosting its first Regional Webinar “Explosive Ordnance Risk Education in ASEAN in a Time of Pandemic” today (19 May 2020).

The Regional Webinar gathered more than fifty representatives from explosive ordnance affected ASEAN Member States (AMS), mine action related organisations, academics and individuals from all over the world. Overall, it aimed to identify all potential available means and capabilities to ensure the continuity of EORE operations within affected AMS. Despite the complex challenges, EORE should continue to be provided to the affected communities using alternative safer approaches, where possible, which reduce the risk of spreading the pandemic.

The Webinar was welcomed and introduced by Mr. Ly Panharith, Executive Director of ARMAC. He expressed his appreciation to the participants for their interest to join the webinar, and highlighted the importance of various EORE adaptations that should be considered and the possible new normal in EORE and overall mine action sectors in the aftermath of the pandemic. He also underscored the necessity of exchange of information, experience and good practices since the pandemic brought about an unprecedented challenge to EORE.

At the Webinar, moderated by Mr. Hal Judge, ARMAC EORE Expert, organisations and institutions in the ASEAN Region shared how COVID-19 has affected their mine actions, particularly EORE activities, and their EORE adaptations in response of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Co-Chairs of international EORE Advisory Group, Mr. Sebastian Kasack (Senior Technical Advisor of Mines Advisory Group) and Mr. Hugues Laurenge (Child Protection Specialist of UNICEF), gave presentations on how EORE and COVID-19 delivery methods are being coordinated and integrated in inventive ways.

From a related perspective, Dr. Joanne Durham, Senior Lecturer of Queensland University of Technology, presented an overview of the relation of public health and mine action, as well as the impact of health crisis to mine action including EORE.

In the webinar, national mine (and unexploded ordnance – UXO) action authorities/centres, international organisations and non-governmental organisations shared their experience and strategy in adapting their operations to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. This sharing may help streamline mine action operations in ASEAN region

(ARMAC 19 May 2020)

12 May
Launch of the Integrated Approaches to Explosive Ordnance Risk Education in ASEAN Member States

Launch of the Integrated Approaches to Explosive Ordnance Risk Education in ASEAN Member States

The Study ‘Integrated Approaches to Explosive Ordnance Risk Education in ASEAN Member States’, published in May 2020, is the outcome of an intensive research and consultation process initiated by the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) from August 2019 to February 2020.

Five nations in the ASEAN region have been heavily affected by explosive ordnance—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.  ARMAC’s consultations with stakeholders in these nations clearly revealed wide support for integrating explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) with many other associated activities. These nations have integrated, mainstreamed and linked EORE in diverse and creative ways to reinforce safety messages to minimise casualties.

While there is no single model to integrate EORE that should be applied to all countries, the Study illuminates effective practices, lessons learned, and innovative approaches from the ASEAN Member States as well as international quality standards, perspectives and theoretical frameworks.

Based on ARMAC’s research, this Study offers a number of recommendations about effective EORE practices and approaches to integrate EORE. The recommendations cover all stages of risk education including: casualty data collection; needs assessment, risk profiling, community liaison, theories of change, monitoring and evaluation, innovation and technology, principles for integrated risk education, and coordination arrangements.

The timing of ARMAC’s consultations preceded the sudden global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, the Study does not specifically address the impact of the pandemic on face-to-face operations of mine action. Nevertheless, the Study explores ways of remote delivery of EORE using mass media and new communications technologies which enable safe physical distance. Also the Study promotes the mutual benefits of integrating EORE with health programs. It is interesting that there are similarities between EORE and CORVID-19 risk education messages in relation to safe distancing, touching and reporting to authorities.

ARMAC hopes that this Study will promote dialogue and contribute to continuous improvements in the effectiveness of EORE to reduce casualties in the affected communities in the ASEAN region and in other countries with similar problems.

ARMAC gratefully acknowledges the funding for the Study from the Japanese Government through the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund.

The Integrated Approach is now available for download and can be found at: https://aseanmineaction.org//resources/publications/

(ARMAC 12 May 2020)

18 Feb
ARMAC Annual Report 2019

ARMAC Annual Report 2019

ARMAC today released its Annual Report 2019 that highlights the Center’s efforts to facilitate greater cooperation in mine action throughout the ASEAN Region.

The Report covers all the major milestones and achievements accomplished by ARMAC in 2019 by providing a thorough update on the Center’s operation and programme activities, as well as information on budget and future plans. Also contained in the Annual Report is the ARMAC Work Plan 2019-2021 which provides a road map for ARMAC’s upcoming programmes and focus areas.

You can download a copy of the Annual Report from ARMAC’s Publications page https://aseanmineaction.org//resources/publications.

(ARMAC 18 February 2020)

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