Cambodia will host the third global conference on assistance to the victims of anti-personnel mines and other explosive ordnance in a disability rights context, a senior official said on Friday.
Ly Thuch, senior minister and first vice president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, said the conference, scheduled for Oct. 17-19 in Phnom Penh, will bring together delegates from 45 countries and regions.
As a state party to the Mine-Ban Convention, known as the “Ottawa Treaty” since 2000, Cambodia has actively worked to eradicate old war-left mines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs) and to assist the victims, he said.
“The upcoming global conference will be a forum for representatives of the convention’s state parties to give updates on their progress and for affected communities and survivors to raise their issues related to victim assistance,” he said in a news release.
He said the conference also demonstrates the state parties’ commitment to assisting the victims of landmines and ERWs.
Cambodia is one of the countries worst affected by landmines and ERWs. An estimated 4 million to 6 million landmines and other munitions had been left over from three decades of war and internal conflicts that ended in 1998.
According to Yale University, between 1965 and 1973, the United States dropped some 230,516 bombs on 113,716 sites in Cambodia.
Thuch said from 1979 to June 2023, landmine and ERW explosions had killed 19,821 people and either injured or amputated 45,205 others, making Cambodia one of the countries with the highest number of casualties.
The Southeast Asian country is committed to achieving a mine-free goal by 2025, he said.