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PHNOM PENH — Cambodia hosted the third global conference on assistance to the victims of mines and other explosive ordnance here on Tuesday.
The three-day conference brought together delegates from 45 countries and regions, which are parties to the Mine-Ban Convention, known as the "Ottawa Treaty."
Ly Thuch, senior minister and first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), said the conference gave an opportunity for all stakeholders to deliberate the assistance to victims of landmines and other explosive ordnance and their families.
"It is a moral imperative that calls upon our collective conscience to take action and support those whose lives have been shattered by these indiscriminate weapons of war," he said in a speech during the opening ceremony of the conference.
Thuch said the conference was not only an exploration of academic insights, but also a show of unity and collaboration to assist the victims of landmines and other explosive ordnance.
Cambodia is one of the countries worst affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (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 had dropped some 230,516 bombs on 113,716 sites in Cambodia.
According to the CMAA's latest report, from 1979 to August 2023, landmine and ERW explosions had killed 19,822 people and either injured or amputated 45,209 others, making Cambodia one of the countries with the most casualties.
The Southeast Asian country is committed to achieving a mine-free goal by 2025.