Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), has thanked the government of Japan for their support for mine action in Cambodia. He also sought continued support for ongoing activities, especially in Pursat province.

While attending the 21st Meeting of the State Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention – held in Geneva, Switzerland from November 20-27 – Thuch met with Ogasawara Ichiro, permanent representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament, on November 20.

“On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I thanked Japan for its assistance to mine action in Cambodia, especially in relation to mine clearance and capacity building through South-South cooperation. I asked Japan to continue to support these activities, and especially to consider helping Pursat to become a mine free province,” said Thuch, in a statement.

“I also mentioned that Cambodia will chair and host the 5th Review Meeting of the Ottawa Convention, which will be held from November 25 to 29 2024 in Siem Reap,” he added.

He explained that as chair of the meeting, Cambodia has a number of key responsibilities and the Kingdom has identified three key priorities: globalisation, demining, and mine action relief.

According to Thuch, Ogasawara informed him that Japan is currently providing demining assistance to 22 countries, and is expanding its activities in Africa.

“Japan is an active participant in various humanitarian conventions, including the Ottawa Convention, and has stated that it will support Cambodia as chair and host of the upcoming fifth review meeting,” said Ogasawara.

Thuch is leading a Cambodian delegation, which includes development partners and domestic and international demining operators, to the ongoing conference in Geneva.

Speaking at a press conference last week, he said that Cambodia had received confidence from the 164 member countries of the Ottawa Convention to be handed the host’s gavel while in Switzerland, ahead of next year’s Siem Reap meeting.