Stakeholders of the UXO/Mine Action sector in Lao PDR gathered to mark another milestone in 2023

December 7, 2023

December 7th, 2023, Vientiane Capital – Unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the Indochina War continue to threaten the safety of the people and hinder the development of many rural communities in Lao PDR, adding substantial costs to development activities. To recognize the notable achievements and address the challenges in the UXO/Mine Action sector in Lao PDR, stakeholders gathered on the 7th of December for the second UXO/Mine Action Sector Working Group (SWG) meeting of 2023. 

The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Mr. Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Her Excellency Ms. Michelle Y. Outlaw, Chargée d’Affaires of the US Embassy to Lao PDR, and Ms. Martine Thérer, Resident Representative of UNDP in Lao PDR. Also, in attendance were Embassy representatives, Ministry officials, Provincial authorities, UXO operators and other UXO stakeholders.  

Mr. Chomyaeng Phengthongsawat, Director-General of the National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector in Lao PDR (NRA), reported significant achievements between January and October 2023, including the identification of 14,163 ha of Confirmed Hazardous Areas, clearance of 3,262 ha (32% of the national clearance target) and destruction of 40,448 items of explosive remnants of war. He also noted improvements in UXO victims' assistance, with a total of 3,262 UXO victims having received health care, social protection and livelihood support this year. 

Despite the efforts in risk education and clearance, there has been a total of 18 UXO accidents so far in 2023, in which 31 persons were injured and 10 persons died. Representatives from the development community, UXO operators, civil society organizations, and ministries reviewed the achievements against the national targets of the Ninth National Socio-Economic Development Plan (9th NSEDP) and the ten-year UXO sector national strategy -Safe Path Forward III (2021-2030), and discussed challenges.

Furthermore, Ms. Moukdavanh Sisoulith, Deputy Director of the International Organization Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) presented a detailed plan for a smooth transition of the supervision of the UXO sector from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which became effective in September 2023. Amendments were proposed to make the SWG a more interactive and action-oriented platform between stakeholders. Both Ms. Thérer and H.E. Mr. Khaykhamphithoune extended their sincere appreciation to the governments of the United States of America, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, and United Kingdom for their generous support to the sector.  

H.E. Mr. Khaykhamphithoune stressed the importance of meeting international obligations and appealed to all stakeholders to work closely together and with the ministry to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.  



For more information, please contact:

Aksonethip Somvorachit, Communications Analyst, UNDP Lao PDR


Telephone: 021 267 778

Mobile: 020 5502 1550