A Cambodian delegation is en route to Geneva, Switzerland, to formally accept leadership responsibilities for the Ottawa Convention in 2024. This precedes next year’s Fifth Review Conference in Siem Reap, making Cambodia the first Asian country to undertake this role. 

Ly Thuch, the first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), disclosed this during a recent CMAA press conference addressing the preparation for the Fifth Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty: Siem Reap Angkor Summit on a Mine-Free World.

“It’s a significant honour for Cambodia to serve as the president, marking the first country in Asia to do so. CMAA will lead a delegation to the Meeting of States Parties from November 20 to 25 in Geneva, Switzerland. Cambodia will take on the role of chairing the Ottawa Convention throughout the entirety of 2024,” he stated.

“This responsibility involves not only the CMAA but also the government and the people as a whole, collectively chairing the Ottawa Convention. It signifies Cambodia’s commitment to putting an end to the human suffering caused by the remnants of war,” he said.

Thuch stressed that in 2024, when Cambodia assumes the chairmanship, the nation will engage in significant activities. This includes promoting the implementation of the Ottawa Convention to 36 non-member countries, including four ASEAN countries: Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos. Cambodia aims to encourage these nations to join the Ottawa Treaty.

“The global community views Cambodia as among the most successful demining nations in the transition from conflict to peace. These factors have fostered trust from the Ottawa Convention’s committee and member countries, leading them to select Cambodia as the host for the summit,” he underscored.

The Ottawa Convention, a UN treaty with 164 member countries, seeks to advance the prohibition of anti-personnel mines’ use, stockpiling, production, transfer and their subsequent destruction.

Thuch emphasised that hosting and chairing the Ottawa Convention Summit will bring numerous benefits to the nation. Cambodia aims to share the positive experiences gained from its efforts to transform into a peaceful country.

Scheduled for November 2024 in Siem Reap, the summit will gather nearly 200 countries to discuss demining efforts, with the participation of Prime Minister Hun Manet. The Ottawa Convention aims to address the global impact of these weapons, leading to pain, suffering, hardship, death and disability.