SIEM REAP, 23 April 2019 – ASEAN representatives discussed how to promote cooperation among Member States as well as regional and international organisations in order to effectively address and eliminate mine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the region at a seminar in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 22-23 April.

The Regional Seminar on Full and Effective Operationalization of ARMAC: Enhancing Regional Efforts in Addressing ERW through Integrated Approach was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, with the support of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund 2.0.

The event aimed at promoting regional cooperation within ASEAN to fully operationalise the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) as well as enhancing cooperation among relevant regional and international organisations.

Kan Pharidh, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as Cambodia’s Representative and Vice-Chair of ARMAC Steering Committee, presided over and delivered remarks at the opening ceremony.

Representatives of the Embassy of Japan to Cambodia, Executive Director of ARMAC, and Vice-Governor of Siem Reap Province, and more than 100 participants from all ten ASEAN Member States, ARMAC, the ASEAN Secretariat, Japan, and relevant regional and international organisations as well as non-governmental organisations involving with landmine clearances, ERW and demining activities attended the seminar.

The seminar noted positive progress and achievements in implementing the ARMAC’s Work Plan 2019-2021. A number of projects have been conducted to enhance and strengthen the operationalisation of ARMAC. The seminar also recognised active participation from ASEAN Member States, Dialogue Partners and external parties to contribute to ARMAC’s works and achievements in carrying out its role and functions.

Participants emphasised the importance of integrated approach into AMS’ respective national mine action plans to address the issues of landmines and ERW and underlined the need to increase funding support for implementing these plans.

Among the key recommendations proposed was to explore possibility of partnership and support from private sectors to ensure the financial sustainability for ARMAC.

The seminar was concluded with the adoption of key recommendations on how to promote regional cooperation for full and effective operationalisation of ARMAC.

All delegates took a field trip to Cambodian Mine Action Center’s Peace Museum of Mine Action to understand achievements, experiences and efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia in addressing landmines and ERW.