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Landmine conference to push for global ban

Landmine conference to push for global ban

M ORE than 400 people from 38 countries have been confirmed as participants at

the three-day international land mine conference to be held in Phnom Penh from

June 2 - 4.

The conference, hosted by the NGO Forum on Cambodia and the

Cambodia Campaign to Ban Land Mines, will work toward an international ban on

land mines. Conference organizers would also like to see the Cambodian

government blow up its existing stockpile of mines.

Conference

spokeswoman Linda Hartke, of Church World Services, said speakers at the

conference will include many with first-hand knowledge of the devastating

effects of land mines, including deminers, land mine disabled persons and

providers of social and medical services targeting mine victims around the

world.

She said the main aim of the conference was to bridge the gap

between abstract ideas and the harsh reality of living with mines.

She

said another important goal was to mobilize regional groups to become more

involved in the international campaign to ban land mines. The conference will

also explore the human, social and economic impact of mines and look for ways to

increase funding for demining and for mine victims.

The 38 countries

were identified as Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR,

Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan,

Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Austria, Belgium,

France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden,

Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United

States of America.

Hartke said $110,000 had been given by 27

organizations to sponsor the conference, $50,000 of which has been used to pay

for some of the participants to come. The Cambodian government had donated the

use of the CDC building to hold the conference for free.

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