The Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand declared Thailand’s progress in releasing four provinces namely Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Chumphon and Chanthaburi from land mine contamination, under the obligation of the Ottawa Treaty, to promote human security and development of communities in the affected areas. Currently, Thailand has completed more than 90 per cent of its mine clearance work and intends to become a mine-free country by 2023.
On 25 November 2020, the Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC), Royal Thai Armed Forces, co-organised a “Briefing on Thailand’s progress in mine clearance” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was presided by Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and General Supot Malaniyom, Chief of Joint Staff, Royal Thai Armed Forces. The event was attended by 80 invited guests including representatives from the TMAC, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Ministry of Public Health, the Embassies of Norway, Japan, Cambodia and the United States, and various military attachés representing countries which have close cooperation with the TMAC, the Norwegian Peoples’ Aid (NPA), the Thai Civilian Deminer Association (TDA), the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation (GWHF) and members of the press.
The Permanent Secretary reiterated Thailand’s commitment towards the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction – Ottawa Treaty in 1999, which has been acknowledged internationally, in particular for the mine clearance efforts, mine victim assistance and international cooperation.
The Chief of Joint Staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, announced the latest progress in mine clearance operations, declaring further four provinces, namely Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Chumphon and Chanthaburi, as mine-free areas. The Chief of Joint Staff stated that Thailand has completed more than 90 per cent of its mine clearance work and reaffirmed Thailand’s intention to become a mine-free country by 2023.
Participants at the events also viewed exhibitions organised by the TMAC on its demining operations and the exhibitions by NPA and TDA, GWHF on their support to Thailand’s demining operations, as well as the exhibitions by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security on mine victim assistance.
The event underlined Thailand’s unwavering commitment towards disarmament on the international stage. Thailand’s mine clearance operations and the release of further four provinces from land mine contamination are vital to the promotion of human security and development of communities in the affected areas, enabling them to make use of the available land and enjoy safer and more sustainable livelihoods.
Source: Government of Thailand