Statement by Mr. Tondrub Wangbum Assistant Governor of Yunnan Province at the Opening Ceremony of the Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Co-operation Workshop
Distinguished Dr. David Johnson
Distinguished Ambassador Li Daoyu and Director-General Liu Jieyi,
Dear delegates, guests, ladies and gentlemen,
On the occasion of the opening of Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Co-operation Workshop in the spring city of Kunming, I, on behalf of the People's Government of Yunnan Province and its 43 million people, would like to extend our sincere congratulations on the convening of the workshop and warm welcome to all delegates.
Yunnan is a mountainous province located in southwest China, bordering Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar with 4061 kilometers of boundary. There are only 214 kilometers from Yunnan to the border of Thailand. Yunnan serves as a gateway of China to Southeast Asia and South Asia. It is also known as the "Kingdom of Plants", the "Kingdom of Animals" and the "Kingdom of Non-ferrous Metals". Yunnan attracts domestic and international attention with her abundant resources, unique life styles of different ethnic groups and beautiful landscapes.
As a state party to the Landmine Protocol, the Chinese Government has faithfully implemented its obligations under the protocol. It attaches great importance to mine clearance and economic reconstruction in mine-affected areas within its border, and has formulated preferential policies for such areas in Yunnan Province. Though a beautiful place full of wonders, Yunnan has also been bothered by landmine problems, mainly in border areas. In this connection, Yunnan provincial government has set up a special office in charge of economic reconstruction in mine-affected areas. Under the guidance of the central government, Yunnan Province has made remarkable achievements in mine clearance operations in border areas, giving strong impetus to the local economic and social development.
As is known to all, to eradicate the landmine problems, it would be infeasible to rely only on the efforts and technologies of a single state. Humanitarian mine clearance needs international cooperation, and requires support and attention from all countries. The main theme of the world today is peace and development. It is our sincere hope that the wind of peace will blow over the whole world and the earth will be free from landmine problems forever.
Finally, I wish the Humanitarian Mine/UXO Clearance Technology and Co-operation Workshop a complete success, and good health and a happy stay in Kunming for Dr. David Johnson, Ambassador Li Daoyu, Director-General Liu Jieyi and other delegates.