Together with mobilising domestic resources to the maximum level, the Vietnamese Government wishes to receive continued cooperation and support from the international community to help the country clear unexploded ordnances (UXO) left by the war.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the statement while attending a talk hosted by the State Steering Board on the National Action Programme on settling consequences caused by UXO (or Steering Board 504), in Hanoi on December 5.

PM Dung, who is Head of the Steering Board, thanked foreign countries, international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for their support for Vietnam in settling UXO consequences over the past years.

Participants at the event, including foreign ambassadors and representatives of international organisations in Vietnam, assessed the current situation regarding UXO in Vietnam as well as put forth measures and plans to implement projects to clear bombs and mines left by the war and help UXO victims reintegrate into the community.

They also discussed how to mobilise and use effectively domestic and foreign resources in addressing UXO consequences in the country.

US Ambassador to Vietnam David Bruce Shear stressed that the US wants to cooperate more closely with the Vietnamese Government, NGOs and international organisations in overcoming war aftermaths, including explosive remnants of war, in Vietnam.

Incomplete statistics showed over 42,130 people had died and 62,160 others injured by post-war bombs and mines, placing more burdens on many families and the whole society.

The UXO contaminated land area accounts for over 20 percent of the country’s area, causing difficulties for production and people’s life.

Since the war ended, the Vietnamese Government has paid special attention to settling the consequences of bombs and mines left by the war by issuing many mechanisms and policies as well as spending thousands of trillions of VND (or hundreds of millions of USD) on the work each year.

Thanks to efforts made by all ministries, localities and the entire society plus the valuable support and assistance of international friends, Vietnam has recorded remarkable achievements in dealing with UXO.

The country has removed millions of unexploded bombs and mines, recliaming hundreds of thousands of hectares of land, helping ensure safe conditions for production and people’s life.

On the occasion, a ceremony was held to announce a decision on the establishment of the Steering Board 504 headed by the Prime Minister and a national action programme on settling the consequences caused by UXO for the 2010-2025 period.

The programme aims to complete and surveys for a map on UXO contamination areas throughout the country, and educate people on ways to prevent accidents caused by bombs and mines.

The programme sets the target of clearing 800,000 ha from UXO and implementing more projects to support UXO victims./.