The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to partner on mine action in Cambodia to increase the capacity of the “Cambodian Mine Action community” and to ensure the widest dissemination and application of new innovations in the field.
The April 25 signing took place at the CMAA headquarters between CMAA secretary-general Prum Sopheak Mongkol and Golden West country representative Len Austin.
CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch, who presided over the ceremony, said the CMAA still needs international assistance to modernise its technical skills, remain up-to-date on technological demining innovations and to standardise the knowledge and professionalism of its operators. This strategic partnership will enhance its research and development and help it to acquire new skills.
“This partnership will contribute to the modernisation of technical skills and innovation in modern technical demining work, which will provide greater security for deminers and render them more efficient in liberating the land to the people,” he said.
He added that Cambodia will further implement new technological research to help solve the problem of mines, as well as provide progress on research means for the sector in Cambodia. This partnership will help speed up the achievement of Cambodia’s demining goals.
“We need the expertise of Golden West, and we firmly believe that their continued support will help us achieve our goals faster and safer. We hope to see new skills and technologies being included in mine action that will enable our operators to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities,” he said.
Golden West is a US-based non-profit charity, dedicated to the development of innovative technologies, training and techniques that are used to enhance the global effectiveness of the humanitarian mine action community.
It has worked with the Cambodian government and their demining agencies – along with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – since March 2005.
“With this MoU and partnership with CMAA, we will be able to increase the capacity to address the needs of the Cambodian Mine Action community and ensure the widest dissemination and application of innovation to save lives and preserve property here in Cambodia,” Austin said.
He added that the partnership will bring about innovation and a new look on how to provide training and support to deminers, EOD Technicians, management, and support personnel – not only in Cambodia but also in the rest of the world.
“We will strive to make the Kingdom the true centre of excellence for the world to see and emulate in the world of humanitarian demining,” he said.