Vietnam Shares Experiences in UXO Clearance
|Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet (center) attends a workshop on overcoming consequences of bombs and mines for sustainable peace and development. Photo: MoF|
A regional workshop took place in Hanoi on March 29-30 to share regional experience and global progress in overcoming the consequence of bombs and mines for peace and sustainable development.
Co-hosted by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the two-day event draws about 100 delegates, including representatives from the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre, ministries, agencies, localities and mine action agencies from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet said in Vietnam, nearly one-fifth of the land area, or about 5.6 million hectares, remain contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO). Therefore, overcoming the consequences of landmines and mines continues to be an urgent requirement and an indispensable part of the overall process of post-conflict recovery and reconstruction, peace building, and realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the spirit of “leaving no one behind”. This is a consistent policy, stance and strong message that Vietnam has always promoted at the global level and implemented in practice in Vietnam.
Within the framework of the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnance (Programme 504) for the 2010-2020 period, Vietnam has pooled resources worth more than VND 12 trillion (USD 521 million) and cleared more than 500,000 hectares of contaminated land to create space for development, he said.
Viet affirmed that this workshop is a practical and concrete implementation of the tasks set out in the presidential statement of the UN Security Council (UNSC) approved by Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son as Council President in April 2021, especially with regard to strengthening international assistance to mine-affected countries, strengthens partnerships at all levels in this area.
On this occasion, the Deputy Minister also expressed his deep gratitude to individuals and organisations doing demining work in the country, development partners, international organisations and non-governmental organisations for accompanying Vietnam in the work of overcoming the consequences of landmines and UXO for more than a decade.
|The two-day event draws about 100 delegates, including representatives from the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre, ministries, agencies, localities and Mine Action agencies from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.|
The event featured seven sessions discussing diverse topics, including sharing experiences of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand in the effort; the importance of effective information management; the tripartite cooperation model of UNDP/KOICA/Vietnam, overcoming the consequences of landmines in the overall fulfillment of the sustainable development goals, technological advances and regional cooperation mechanism in the field.
This year's event takes place in the context of Vietnam has recently completed the review of the 10-year implementation of Programme 504 and setting the goal of striving for no more landmine accidents or explosions nationwide by 2025.
|Ramla Al Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam spoke at the Workshop. Photo: WVR/Quang Hoa|
Also in the opening session of the workshop, Ramla Al Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam said that landmines and explosives left over from the war are hindering socio-economic development and sustainable living and livelihoods of people not only in Vietnam but also in other countries in the region such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar.
She appreciates Vietnam's leading role in promoting sustainable livelihoods, and the issue of mine remediation for sustainable development at international forums, especially as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2020-2021 term.
Meanwhile, Lee Kyeong-dock, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Vietnam, emphasized that the Korean Government is highly committed to global efforts to overcome the consequences of war, towards peace and sustainable development; wishes that through mine remediation projects in Vietnam can make positive contributions to the good bilateral relations between the RoK and Vietnam
Overcoming the consequences of post-conflict mines is one of Vietnam's seven priorities as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2020-2021 term. On April 8, 2021, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son chaired a ministerial open debate focusing on “Mine action and sustaining peace: Stronger partnerships for better delivery”.
The UNSC adopted its first presidential statement, proposed by Vietnam, on mine action, which specifically underlined the connection between UXO settlement and sustainable peace, stability, and development, affirming the UNSC’s commitment and highlighting the necessity for international cooperation in mine action.
It also mentioned important issues like impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, augmenting support for affected countries, establishing specialized mine action units at UN peacekeeping missions, and taking into account special needs of women and children during the performance of related tasks.
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