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Workshop shares global progress in bomb, mine clearance

A regional workshop opened in Hanoi on March 29 to share regional experience and global progress in overcoming the consequence of bombs and mines for peace and sustainable development.

Co-hosted by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the two-day event draws about 100 delegates, including representatives from the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre, ministries, agencies, localities and mine action agencies from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet said in Vietnam, nearly one-fifth of the land area, or about 5.6 million hectares, remain contaminated with bombs, mines and explosive ordinances.

Within the framework of the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnance (Programme 504) for the 2010-2020 period, Vietnam has pooled resources worth more than 12 trillion VND (521 million USD) and cleared more than 500,000 hectares of contaminated land to create space for development, he said.

The event featured seven sessions discussing diverse topics, including sharing experience of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand in the effort; the importance of effective information management; the tripartite cooperation model of UNDP/KOICA/Vietnam, overcoming the consequences of landmines in the overall fulfillment of the sustainable development goals, technological advances and regional cooperation mechanism in the field.

This year's event takes place in the context of Vietnam having recently completed the review of 10-year implementation of the Programme 504 and setting the goal of striving for no more landmine accidents or explosions nationwide by 2025./.