ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre launches FOA group

The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) launched the Friends of ARMAC (FOA) group in both in-person and virtual forms on September 23, with the participation of about 120 delegates.

At the launch ceremony for the Friends of ARMAC (FOA) group. (Photo: NDO)
At the launch ceremony for the Friends of ARMAC (FOA) group. (Photo: NDO)

The FOA is an initiative raised by Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh when Vietnam assumed Chair of ARMAC Steering Committee 2020, with an aim to bolster the centre’s image and prestige and attract more resources for its activities in the future.

More than 50 agencies, organisations and businesses have signed up to become friends of ARMAC, including those from Vietnam.

Addressing the launch ceremony held at the Embassy of Vietnam, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia Prak Sokhonn spoke highly of the idea to foster contributions to humanitarian aid in handling unexploded ordnances.

As a country that heavily suffered from consequences of war-time bombs, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), Vietnam appreciated ARMAC’s contributions for an ASEAN and a world free of bombs and mines, said Chargé d'affaires at the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia Lai Xuan Chien.

He added that Vietnam has called on its businesses to join in the centre’s efforts.

ARMAC is a centre of excellence under the ASEAN Security Cooperation to encourage efforts to address landmines and ERW for interested ASEAN member states. Inaugurated on May 25, 2016, the centre aims to collectively tackle the humanitarian aspects of landmines and ERW through an integrated approach of experience sharing, skills training, and other capacity building activities.

Vietnam contributed US$10,000 to the centre’s activities in 2020.