Regional Cluster Munitions Remnants Survey Workshop hosted in Quang Tri
Deputy Chairman of Quang Tri Provincial People's Committee Hoang Nam delivers an opening statement at the workshop. Photo: Hien Ngo/NPA-RENEW.
The workshop is hosted by Quang Tri and Vietnamese authorities and organized by NPA with the support of US Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA).
Cluster munitions remnants survey is one of the initiatives which have been applied in Quang Tri province in an effort to improve efficiency of unexploded ordnance (UXO) disarmament in vast contaminated areas.
The workshop aims to identify best practice in CMRS in South East Asia, to better assist the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam to address the severe scope of cluster munition contamination present in the region and allow them for better planning of their clearance resources.
The national authorities of each country, as well as NGOs and other stakeholders working in the region, will share experiences in CMRS implementation and discuss the principles and approaches that can be considered best practice. All participants share the same objective: remove legacies of war more efficiently and more effectively through the application of CMRS, to improve the lives and livelihoods of people across South East Asia.
According to Hoang Nam, Deputy Chairman of Quang Tri Province People’s Committee, Quang Tri is the hardest-hit province due to remaining UXOs, and more than 8,500 local people were killed or injured after the war ended. It is the most UXO-polluted province in Vietnam as the area of land contaminated with UXO amounts to 82 percent.
The province has implemented various projects on the prevention of incidents related to UXOs and land clearance, thereby contributing to the province’s socio-economic development.
Quang Tri previously recorded about 70 bomb and landmine-related incidents each year. However, in 2018, the province for the first time recorded no incident and it is striving to be the first locality of Vietnam free from such incidents and contamination by 2025, he added.
For his part, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink noted that the collaboration between the US and Vietnam in handling post-war UXOs have reaped fruitful results, saving the lives of many people and clearing millions of sq.m of land for economic development. The US is committed to overcoming war consequences in Vietnam, he said.
It is appropriate that the second workshop on CMRS methodology is taking place in Quang Tri province. Quang Tri is one of the provinces with the heaviest contamination from cluster munitions and other UXO, and is a model of partnership and transparency in mine action./.