Remarks by Ms. Alissar Chaker, UNDP Resident Representative
Mr. Prum Suonpraseth, Executive Director, the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre, ARMAC
Ms. Araceli Knaik, Senior Technical Officer, Mine Action, ARMAC
Mr. Sarom Sorn, Technical Officer, Corporate Affairs, ARMAC
Ms. Chanthana Sengthong, Project Manager, Victim Assistance Project, ARMAC
Mr. Nathan Williams, Senior Technical Assistant, ARMAC
ARMAC team, UNDP colleagues
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am pleased to represent UNDP today in this signing ceremony that consolidates the natural partnership between the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre and UNDP Cambodia.
I said “natural” because the partnership started between UNDP and ARMAC since the inception of the latter. With today’s MoU, we both reconfirm and formalize our mutual commitment and shared pursuit for enhancing regional coherence in mine action approaches, methodologies, and standards across the five pillars of mine action, and for promoting knowledge, good practice, and stronger partnership amongst affected states.
I would like also to highlight the timeliness of formalizing this partnership during Cambodia’s chairmanship of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 30th anniversary of mine action in Cambodia, where this term was coined in the early 1990s.
This MoU is a step forward in the efforts under the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the United Nations (2021-2025). The Plan of Action specifically mentions the promotion of collaboration between the ARMAC and the UN, including sharing of expertise and best practices in addressing humanitarian aspects of landmines and explosive remnants of war.
UNDP plays the role of SDG Integrator in the UN family globally and in Cambodia, and as such we are committed to expanding partnerships within and outside the UN family in Cambodia and the region. UNDP’s Southeast Asia mine action portfolio is significant and covers Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam.
I look forward to the South-South Cooperation activities planned for 2022 and value ARMAC’s position as a strategic partner in supporting Cambodia’s strong and mature mine action sector in sharing its technical expertise and skills gained over the last 30 years, including internationally within the framework of various United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, through South-South Cooperation and regional collaboration. Cambodia’s ambition and commitment to mine action is embodied in Cambodia’s SDG18 on ending the negative impact of mines/Explosive Remnants of War and promoting victim assistance.
In closure, I would like to celebrate our fruitful partnership and the benefits of which will further mine action as an enabler for national and regional development in accordance with the 2030 Agenda and the imperative of Leaving No One Behind.
 ARMAC was established at the 21st ASEAN Summit in 2012, envisioned to serve as a centre of excellence to encourage efforts to address the problems of explosive remnants of war (ERW) for affected ASEAN Member States (AMS). In 2013, during the 22nd ASEAN Summit, Cambodia was selected as the host country of ARMAC. In late 2017, the Permanent Secretariat of ARMAC was established in Phnom Penh, with 2018 considered as ARMACs first operational year.