Geneva, 6 May 2015 – Thailand has announced that it will convene an international symposium to advance efforts to ensure full, equal and effective participation of mine victims in their societies.
The Bangkok Symposium will be held on 15-16 June in the Thai capital, with participants invited to also take part in a field trip to the mine-affected Bua Ched District on 17 June. In an invitation letter issued to all delegations in Geneva – as well as to international and non-governmental organizations – Thailand’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (Geneva), Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi said that the symposium aims to assist States to “strengthen national assistance programmes” and “integrate landmine assistance programmes in a broader disability perspective.”
Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi also indicated that the Bangkok Symposium aims to “identify challenges in implementing the Maputo Action Plan adopted during the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s Review Conference in 2014.” As noted in the symposium’s concept paper, “the Maputo Action Plan reiterates the States Parties’ understanding that victim assistance should be integrated into broader policies, plans and legal frameworks related to the rights of persons with disabilities”. Furthermore, “commitments contained in the Maputo Action Plan emphasise the importance of States assessing needs, and expressing what change can be expected over the period covered by the action plan and how this change could be made.”
The June symposium represents continuity the effort to ensure full, equal and effective participation of mine victims. In 2013, Thailand, with the support of Australia, convened the Bangkok Symposium on Cooperation and Assistance, which underlined the interconnections between the mine action world and disability, the need to focus on sustainability, and the strengthening of partnerships. In 2014, Colombia, with the support of the European Union, convened the landmark global conference, Bridges between Worlds, which reaffirmed that, while assisting landmine victims is a specific promise made through the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, victim assistance is not as world unto itself.
The Bangkok Symposium is being supported by the Convention’s Implementation Support Unit in accordance with its 2015 work plan, which seeks to assist the Convention’s Committees and Committee Members in undertaking special initiatives to support the implementation of the Convention. Thailand currently serves as a Member of the Convention’s Committee on Victim Assistance.
For more information, contact: Kerry Brinkert +41 (0) 22 730 93 10, press(at)apminebanconvention.org.
Bangkok Symposium Invitation PDF 46.3KB
Bangkok Symposium Concept Note PDF 50.3KB
Bangkok Symposium Administrative Information PDF 320KB
Bangkok Symposium Registration Form PDF 291KB
Bangkok Symposium Hotel Accommodation Form PDF 244KB