Ambassador Kritenbrink Highlights Quang Tri Province’s Achievements at U.S.-funded Regional Workshop

HANOI, August 28, 2019 – Speaking in Quang Tri on August 27, U.S. Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink kicked-off a two-day workshop focused on sharing best practices related to Cluster Munition Remnant Survey (CMRS), a groundbreaking way of conducting survey and clearance operations that was developed, tested, and first implemented in Southeast Asia. Representatives of national authorities focused on removing unexploded ordinance (UXO) and other explosive remnants of war from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, along with a number of the U.S. partner organizations such as Norwegian People’s Aid, Mines Advisory Group, and HALO Trust attended the workshop.

This workshop provided an opportunity for Quang Tri Province to share its successful model of cooperation between national and provincial mine-action authorities, donor governments, military clearance units, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakehMembers of the Peace Trees Vietnam working on a clearance site. olders. Quang Tri provided an excellent environment for bringing key stakeholders together to develop and refine the CMRS process.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Kritenbrink celebrated the success of the survey and clearance operations in Quang Tri, “Because of many of you in this room, not a single man, woman, or child was a victim of a UXO-related injury in this province for the last two years.”

Using historical data and working with communities, CMRS helps organizations clearing UXO to find and clear explosive hazards more efficiently and safely. The CMRS process has helped clearance organizations triple productivity, ensuring that operators can find and remove UXO while maintaining high standards of quality and confidence for impacted communities. This provides better value for donor governments supporting UXO clearance activities. Participants in this week’s workshop, including operators and national authorities in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, shared their lessons learned and how they have helped refine the CMRS process as well as set the standard for this type of work globally.

The United States is proud to support the humanitarian mine action sector throughout Southeast Asia. Eliminating explosive hazards from communities is essential to development. Our partnership with national and provincial authorities as well as with our NGO colleagues is essential to effective and efficient survey and clearance operations. The focus of CMRS has been and will continue to be on making communities safe. Survey activities allow for national authorities, NGOs, and donors to have a complete understanding of the contamination, and then following up on these survey activities with clearance of high-priority areas. Accurate CMRS enables better planning of clearance activities and allows resources to be put into productive use in the most needed areas.