Vietnam Determined to Joint Actions in Addressing UXO Consequences
|Maj. Gen. Tran Trung Hoa, Director General of the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre, speaks at the New York session. Photo: VNA|
Vietnam commits to joining actions in addressing consequences of bombs and mines left over from the war, VNA citied Maj. Gen. Tran Trung Hoa, director general of the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre (VNMAC).
Addressing a New York debate session within the framework of the Mine Action Week held by the United Nations on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on April 4, Hoa said that Vietnam is among the countries most affected by unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Today, unexploded bombs and mines are hidden underground in almost all provinces and cities, with around 5.6 million hectares of land contaminated, equivalent to 17.71% of the country’s natural land area.
Since 1975, more than 40,000 Vietnamese have been killed and 60,000 injured due to landmines left over from the war, he stressed.
|An overview of the session. Photo: VNA|
With joint efforts of the Vietnamese government and people, and the support of the international community, over the past 50 years, since the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam was signed on January 27, 1973, Vietnam has cleared nearly 2.5 million hectares of contaminated land to serve resettlement, ensure safety for people, and build economic works.
Many projects on the settlement of UXO consequences funded by foreign countries like the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the UK, Norway, Germany and Australia, as well as UN bodies and foreign non-governmental organisations such as GICHD, USAID, KOICA, JICA, ARMAC, have been carried out successfully in Vietnam, Hoa stated.
In the coming time, Vietnam pledges to continue improving the system of legal documents in overcoming the consequences of bombs and mines, especially in building an ordinance on overcoming UXO consequences, participating in the development of international standards and perfecting national standards and regulations in line with international standards, and perfecting a national database system to speed up the settlement of UXO consequences.
|A bomb is moved onto a car to be transported to the designated site for detonation. Photo: VNA|
Vietnam continues to carry out surveys and demining activities, step up disseminations to raise people's awareness of accident prevention and provide support for UXO victims, he added.
While in New York, the VNMAC Director General is scheduled to meet UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu and Director of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Ilene Cohn to discuss cooperation activities to overcome UXO consequences in Vietnam in the coming time.
As one of countries most affected by UXO left over from the war, Vietnam has paid special attention to the clearance of bombs and mines in order to free land to serve socio-economic development and at the same time promote activities to support and help UXO victims, said VNMAC Deputy Director, Colonel Nguyen Hanh Phuc, at a press conference providing information about the settlement of bomb and mine consequences in Vietnam in Hanoi.
This year, VNMAC is collecting data to make a report reviewing the implementation of the national action programme on settlement of post-war bomb and mine consequences in the 2010-2025 period, and prepare a programme for 2025-2045, with a vision to 2050.
|An Explosive Ordnance Risk Education event for students of Thuan Duc Primary & Secondary School, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province. Source: PeaceTrees Vietnam|
The centre is also building a mechanism on calling for domestic and foreign donations for this work and plans to complete and submit for approval a national strategy on education on risks of bomb and mine-related accidents.
Pham Thi Hai Ha, deputy director general of the Department of Social Assistance under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said ministries, agencies and localities have actively rolled out policies to provide social assistance for UXO victims to reintegrate into the community, and educate people on UXO accident prevention.
Essential services for the victims include orthopedics, rehabilitation, counseling, psychotherapy, physical therapy, social work, vocational training, employment services, and social welfare policies, she added.
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