Daniel Craig, the world-renowned British actor and a UN Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards, calls on the international community to provide more support for mine action in Cambodia.
Daniel Craig made the appeal in a video released by the UN Development Programme and Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), commemorating the 30th anniversary of demining activities in Cambodia.
“Even once the guns fell silent in Cambodia, the legacy of war remained. Buried in the soil, land mines laid silently, primed to kill. They are hidden destroyers of lives. They take [lives] indiscriminately and traumatised communities. They make each step for a famer or a child probably their last,” Craig said.
He said that once mine-laden land has been cleared, villagers will be able to grow crops and build home, and factories, schools, health clinics and markets will follow.
“Since mine action work began in 1992, 30 years ago, over seven million people have benefitted under the leadership of the CMAA. In my work with the UN, I have been fortunate to see the life changing impact of mine action,” he said.
“With just a little more support from donors, Cambodia could finally be free of mines. Fields that hid killers could become fields of hope,” he said.
“Cambodia has shown that we can overcome the legacy of these deadly killers. It is a hard path, but one which we must all walk together to see an end to the brutality of landmines and explosive ordnance [UXO] and ensure that we leave no one behind,” he continued.
To help ensure that Cambodia becomes mine-free by 2025, Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 4 of this year established the Samdech Techo Project for Mine Action” (STP-MA) fundraising drive.
According to the CMAA, which recently organised an exhibition to mark 30 years of mine action in Cambodia, the STP-MA initiative has garnered around $20 million from donors.