Phnom Penh, Cambodia (02 February 2011)
|H.E Prak Sokhonn (right) shakes hand with German Ambassador Dr. Wolfgang Moser after the signing ceremony of grant aid for mine clearing project|
The Federal Republic of Germany provided one million Euro in grant aid to the Royal kingdom of Cambodia for mine clearing project of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey Province.
The project was signed by H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Vice-President CMAA, and Dr. Wolfgang Moser, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Cambodia under presided over by H.E. Dr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Council of Minister.
H.E. Sok AN said that Germany has agreed to provide one million Euros to fund CMAC’s Deming Unit 6, and this amount will allow CMAC to clear approximately 43 minefields, totaling 7,243,877 meters of full clearance. “It estimated that about 2,633 local families in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey will benefit from this project. [Beneficiaries] include mine victims and their families to improve our economic situation, particularly in remote area, rural area, and veteran’s families.
He continued to say that Germany has provided slightly over $10.8 million to the Royal Government of Cambodia to support CMAC’s demining operations in the provinces of Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey since 1999 to 2010. This support has allowed CMAC to address 77.8 kilometers of landmine and UXO contaminated areas, thus destroying 159,613 landmines and unexploded ordnances. These achievements have considerably contributed to meeting the goals to “achieve maximum casualty and poverty reduction, to restore access to archeological sites and ancient temples, and to support rehabilitation and development of the affected communities in the Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey provinces”.
“The benefits derived from this demining support will be far reaching. It will greatly contribute to not only saving lives and supporting development and rehabilitation for the people in target provinces, but enhancing cross-sector benefits to the tourism sector and the protection of Cambodia national and world heritage sites,” he said.
He added that demining operations in Cambodia have cleared 604 kilometers since 1992, and have conducted extensive Mine Risk Education and Reduction campaigns. In addition to these operations, Cambodia also participates in an international campaign in which the RGC sent members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), particularly those specializing in mine and unexploded ordnance clearance, on missions to clear and help the people of Sudan. This fits within the framework of UN Peace Keeping Forces. The government has also sent RCAF teams to other countries such as Chad and Central Africa for the same kind of mission. CMAC also shares experience with countries in the region and in other parts of the world such as Lao, Vietnam, Colombia, Sri Lanka and 15 African countries.
He remarked that Cambodia remains committed to its obligations under Ottawa Convention, future operations will contribute to meeting the revised deadline of 2019.
In November 2011, Cambodia will host the 11th Meeting of States Parties. This international event will place Cambodia in a position to show the world what it has achieved, in addition to its ongoing commitment to combat landmines and UXOs on global scale. This event also presents an opportunity to further renew Cambodia’s commitment to implementing the convention.
By S.L (Vol. 5, Issue 6, SEAW)