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Statement by Mr. Souliyong SO INXAY, Third Secretary at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) Joint General Debate Agenda item 51: Assistance in Mince Action 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Wednesday, 03 November 2021

Madam Chair,

1. My delegation congratulates you and the members of the Bureau on your election to the Fourth Committee for the 76th Session of the General Assembly. I assure you of the Lao PDR’s full support during this session.

2. My delegation expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his statement delivered on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, which highlights the threats posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices as well as the importance of mine action for peace and security, and the promotion of the universalization of the international legal instruments pertaining to mine action.

3. Like others, the Lao PDR shares the desire of making our world free of threats from explosive remnants of war. Toward this end, enhanced international cooperation and assistance are critical. Therefore, the Lao PDR commends the United Nations and the international community for their continued hard work in the field of mine action, which has made a significant contribution to the mitigation of humanitarian impact caused by explosive remnants of war (ERW) around the world.

Madam Chair,

4. Although the Indochina war has ended more than 4 decades ago. Today, vast areas in the Lao PDR are still being contaminated by ERW. During the war, more than 270 million cluster sub-munitions were dropped on most parts of the country where up to 30 percent of them failed to detonate upon impact. Therefore, the Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) have continued to pose great dangers to people’s lives especially children and hamper the socio-economic development in our country.

5. To overcome these challenges, the Lao PDR has been working closely with the international community. In September 2016, the Government of Lao PDR in partnership with and support of the United Nations, launched the national Sustainable Development Goal 18 entitled “Lives Safe from UXO” aiming at addressing the impacts caused by UXO to national development. The first target of this agenda, for 2030, is to reduce the number of casualties to the lowest extent possible. The commitment of the Lao Government to achieve our national SDG18 ensures that the country will do its utmost in reducing the UXO impact nationwide, thus contributing to other cross-cutting Sustainable Development Goals.

Madam Chair,

6. The achievements highlighted above would not have been made possible without the continued support from our development partners, including donors and international organizations namely Australia, Canada, EU, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, the UK and the U.S. We have also received continued assistance from INGOs namely HALO Trust, Humanity & Inclusion (HI), JMAS, MAG, NPA and World Education, among others. Taking this opportunity, the Lao PDR wishes to express our heartfelt gratitude to all countries and international organizations for their long-standing support and assistance extended to us. We look forward to their continued support and further enhanced partnership and cooperation.

7. In conclusion, the Lao PDR remains committed to continue working closely with all stakeholders in addressing the aforementioned challenges so that we can make the people’s lives safe, improve their well-being, thus contributing to the implementation of the 2030 agenda.

I thank you, Madam Chair.