A senior official of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) has engaged with additional European UN representatives to seek support for this year’s Siem Reap Angkor Summit on a Mine-Free World, to be hosted by the Kingdom in November.

While leading a Cambodian delegation to the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Ly Thuch, CMAA first vice-president and chair of the 2024 Ottawa Convention, also met with a senior official from a global mine action NGO. 

Thuch has been elected by state parties to the convention as president of the November 25-29 Siem Reap-Angkor summit, the fifth review conference (5RC) of the mine ban treaty.

On March 4, he met with Tormod Endresen, representative of the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN and other international organisations, to seek Norwegian support.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the ways that Norway will contribute to the upcoming summit to ensure the common goals of the Ottawa Convention are met.

“On behalf of Prime Minister Hun Manet, I thank the people and government of Norway for providing financial assistance through the sponsorship of delegations from countries that would otherwise be unable to attend the conference. I am also grateful for their support for the organisation of the Siem Reap-Angkor Summit,” he said.

Demining NGO Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) has been a strategic long-term partner of the CMAA since 2014. 

With funding from the Norwegian government, as well as the US Department of State and several other European governments, it is committed to supporting the Kingdom’s goal of a landmine-free Cambodia by 2025, while reducing the impact of cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). 

In a same-day meeting with Ioannis Ghikas, representative of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN and Other International Organisations, Thuch congratulated Greece on its positive progress towards achieving its goals through Article 4 of the Ottawa Convention. The article prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and seeks there destruction.

Since Greece became a party to the convention in 2004, it has removed landmines from its wartime borders, while destroying more than 1.2 million landmines from its own stockpiles.

Thuch also met with Gregory Crowther, programme director of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), to seek support from MAG experts on input for the summit’s review of the 2019 Oslo Action Plan, as well as preparations for the Siem Reap summit.

According to the CMAA, the two sides pushed for further dialogue with other development partners, and agreed to establish a single language to address challenges and achieve their set goals.

Thuch is leading the delegation to Geneva from February 27 to March 7. He has already conducted several high-level meetings, with more expected.