On August 27, an international conference on "Method of surveying traces of cluster munitions" was held in Quang Tri province with the participation of the Office of Disarmament and Disarmament - the US Department of State, the University of US embassy in Vietnam, national mine action agencies of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, domestic and international organizations, representatives of agencies of provinces: Thua Thien Hue, Quang Binh, Quang Tri .
Following the first conference held in Washington, USA two years ago, this is the first international conference held in Southeast Asia on "Methods to survey cluster munitions traces". The workshop was organized by Quang Tri province in collaboration with Norwegian People's Aid and Vietnam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC).
Surveying traces and clearing cluster munitions is one of the initiatives that have been tested and applied in Quang Tri province to improve the effectiveness of mine clearance activities in the context of large contaminated areas and limited resources. and high safety requirements of mine-contaminated communities. Cluster munitions tracking and clearing methods support proper planning, budgeting, and coordination of activities to improve resource efficiency.
Attending the seminar, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink highly appreciated the efforts of individuals, units and organizations in cooperation in dismantling unexploded ordnance and remediating post-war consequences.
“You have worked long hours in difficult conditions, diligently scouring kilometers of land. Your work is very important. Thanks to you, farmers can grow crops in the fields without fear. Thanks to you, mothers can let their children go outside to play without worrying about what they might find in the woods. Thanks to you, no more adults and children have been victims of injuries related to unexploded ordnance in Quang Tri province in the past two years,” said Ambassador Kritenbrink.
The US Ambassador to Vietnam also emphasized that the two countries' cooperative efforts in disposing of unexploded ordnance after the war have achieved many successes, "many lives have been saved, millions of square meters of land have been saved." clean to serve agriculture and economic development”.
“The important cooperation between Vietnam and the US in dealing with the aftermath of the war shows that today, the Vietnam-US relationship is stronger than ever. Together, we will advance the Comprehensive Partnership in all aspects, from defence, trade, health care to people-to-people exchanges," said the US Ambassador to Vietnam.
Ambassador Kritenbrink affirmed that the US still maintains a strong commitment in assisting Vietnam in overcoming the consequences of the war.
“In addition to dismantling unexploded ordnance, we recently completed dioxin decontamination at Da Nang airport. We also want to support Vietnam's efforts to clean up dioxin at Bien Hoa airport," said Ambassador Kritenbrink.
Speaking at the workshop, Vice Chairman of Quang Tri Provincial People's Committee Hoang Nam said: “After the war, Quang Tri was the locality that suffered the most severe consequences due to bombs and mines left over. Landmines and explosives have been responsible for over 100,000 casualties in Vietnam and over 8,500 civilians in Quang Tri province since the end of the war. In Quang Tri, the area of land contaminated by landmines, according to data published by VNMAC in 2018, is up to 82%, the highest in the country.
“Together with NGOs, Quang Tri has effectively implemented many projects, reducing landmine accidents, liberating land, contributing to sustainable socio-economic development. From about 70 landmine and mine accidents every year since Quang Tri started cooperating with international organizations to carry out mine action activities (1995 - 2015), two decades later, 2018 is the first year in Quang Tri province. no landmine accidents. Quang Tri is aiming to be the first of 63 provinces and cities in the country that is "safe" to be free of landmines and mines by 2025," said Mr. Hoang Nam at the workshop.