Prime Minister Hun Manet has announced that next year’s 5th Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention to be held in Siem Reap will serve as an opportunity for Cambodia to assure the international community of its commitment to anti-personnel mine clearance. The occasion will also provide a chance to review previous plans and monitor progress.

Manet’s statement was released via social media on November 25, a day after Cambodia was officially voted chair of the Ottawa Treaty and selected to host the Fifth Review Conference in Siem Reap from November 25-29 next year.

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) said that the vote of trust in Cambodia to hold the chairmanship and host the conference was made on November 24 in Geneva, Switzerland. Next year’s conference will be attended by the treaty’s 164 member states and other international organisations.

During the November 24 meeting, CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch noted that Cambodia is the fifth country, and the first in Asia, to hold this position and host the conference. The previous four chairmanships were held by Kenya, Columbia, Mozambique, and Norway in 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019 respectively.

“I thank all of the member countries for their trust in my country and people [to host this event]. I thank you all for the honour, and trust given to the government. I pledge my commitment to ensuring this goal is met and respect the principles of this significant treaty,” he said.

Manet said that Cambodia intends to outline three priority areas. First, it will promote the globalisation of the treaty, encouraging non-state parties to join the treaty and future meetings, as well as to apply any aspects of the treaty. Secondly, to enforce article 5 of the treaty, which focuses on anti-personnel mine clearance. Thirdly, it seeks support for victims and survivors of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW).

He added that Cambodia will issue a five-year plan (The Siem Reap-Angkor Declaration or Siem Reap-Angkor Action Plan) to all treaty members. The plan will serve as a historical record at the UN.

“I take this occasion to appreciate the work of CMAA first vice-president Thuch and all of his staff, along with the international community, national and international development partners and operators, as well as all relevant stakeholders for their contributions to assisting Cambodia with the tragic reminders of the terrible wars that took place here,” said Manet.

Manet also thanked the Ottawa Treaty members and the international community for supporting Cambodia’s demining efforts and voting for the Kingdom to hold the position of chair and host the conference.