The International Mine Awareness Day was marked on 4 April in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with a meeting of government, civil society and UN representatives to pave the way for the 11th Meeting of the States Parties to the Mine Ban Convention, which will take place in Phnom Penh on 28 November – 2 December 2011.
At the Siem Reap meeting, Norway, together with Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the UN signed the Partnership Principles, a document aimed at strengthening further the partnership between the Royal Government of Cambodia and development partners in addressing remaining threats caused by landmines.
Cambodia is one of the most mine-affected nations in the world as a result of 30 years of armed conflict. During the period 1992-2011 around 900.000 landmines have been removed and destroyed, whereas some 44.000 people have survived injuries caused by such explosives – one third of them being children living in the countryside. It is estimated that some 650 km2 are still contaminated by mines in Cambodia.
In Cambodia, Norway supports the mine action work by the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), focusing on the development of a national data base and capacity building, and surveys for mapping of unexploded cluster munitions. Norway also supports the Tromsø Mine Victim Support Centre in their work to assist victims of landmines and cluster munitions. Norway held the Presidency of the Mine Ban Convention for 2010, and has pledged financial support to Cambodia for the organisation of the 11th Meeting of the States Parties later this year