VIENTIANE, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Experts from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their dialogue partners on Tuesday were discussing plans on clearing mines in the region over the next three years.
The experts met for the Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA EWG) under the fifth ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus).
During the two-day meeting which is co-chaired by Laos and Russia, the experts will exchange lessons and best practices on humanitarian mine action, reported Lao state-run media Vientiane Times.
They will seek development of appropriate mechanisms for cooperation among defense forces of the ADMM Plus countries and for the coordination of military and civilian groups in overcoming explosive remains from war.
In his opening remarks at the meeting on Tuesday, Permanent Secretary of Defense Khamsy Vongkhamsao said unexploded ordnance of war still posed a threat to human security in the region and around the world.
He said explosive remains had not only caused the loss of lives and property but disturbed the process of the country's socio-economic development as well as efforts to eradicate poverty, urging countries to join forces in addressing the issue.
"This non-traditional threat has also become a threat to peace and stability within our region, and no single country can deal with this problem alone, thus we need to work closely and collaborate in order to strengthen and enhance our capacity to address such a challenge," Khamsy said.
The meeting of the HMA EWG is one of seven areas being carried out under the framework of ADMM Plus. Two main activities of the experts this year included the 5th ADMM-Plus HMA EWG, which will continue Wednesday in Vientiane, and the 6th ADMM-Plus HMA EWG, scheduled to be held in Moscow, Russia in early October.
The meeting in Russia will focus on the legal aspects and issues around humanitarian mine action, said Vientiane Times.