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Prince Foundation Underscores Vital Role of Public-Private Partnership in Mine Action at Geneva Convention

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA 1 July 2024 – In a notable demonstration of effective collaboration, the Cambodian public and private sectors have set a gold standard for working together on mine clearance. At the recent Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in Geneva, Switzerland, Prince Holding Group, represented by its philanthropic arm Prince Foundation, highlighted its significant role in this partnership. Gabriel Tan, Chief Communications Officer of Prince Holding Group and Head of Prince Foundation, addressed international leaders and policymakers, emphasizing the crucial role of private sector engagement in eradicating landmines and fostering sustainable development.

H.E. Dr. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister, First Vice President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), and President of the 2024 Ottawa Convention (center), chaired the “Private Sector Partnership Towards a Mine-Free World” dialogue during the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention held in Geneva, Switzerland. (Right to left) Mr. Gabriel Tan, Chief Communications Officer, Prince Holding Group and Head of Prince Foundation; Mr. Robert Hwang, TAFTAC Deputy Chairman; Mr. Albert Tan, TAFTAC Deputy Chairman; and Mr. Andrew Tey, CGTI Center Director were part of the Cambodian delegation.
H.E. Dr. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister, First Vice President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), and President of the 2024 Ottawa Convention (center), chaired the “Private Sector Partnership Towards a Mine-Free World” dialogue during the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention held in Geneva, Switzerland. (Right to left) Mr. Gabriel Tan, Chief Communications Officer, Prince Holding Group and Head of Prince Foundation; Mr. Robert Hwang, TAFTAC Deputy Chairman; Mr. Albert Tan, TAFTAC Deputy Chairman; and Mr. Andrew Tey, CGTI Center Director were part of the Cambodian delegation.

The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, is an international legal instrument that prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of anti-personnel mines. A United Nations-facilitated forum, 164 countries have currently committed to the treaty.

The convention brought together international leaders, policymakers, and experts to discuss the ongoing challenges and advancements in mine action. For the first time, representatives from private companies that have contributed to humanitarian demining participated in this platform, making a significant impact. Mr. Tan’s participation underscored Prince Foundation’s dedication to supporting demining efforts, particularly in Cambodia, where landmines continue to impact communities and hinder development.

Mr. Gabriel Tan, Chief Communications Officer of Prince Holding Group and Head of Prince Foundation (far right), spoke at the
Mr. Gabriel Tan, Chief Communications Officer of Prince Holding Group and Head of Prince Foundation (far right), spoke at the “Engagement of Private Sector in Mine Action towards a Mine-Free World,” one of the key side events during the Geneva Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. He highlighted the crucial role of private sector engagement and the initiatives of Prince Foundation to support demining.

In his remarks, H.E. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister, First Vice-President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), and President of the 2024 Ottawa Convention, said, “The contribution of the private sector to humanitarian mine action will greatly assist in resolving the global mine crisis and accelerate the journey to a mine-free world. Landmines continue to threaten lives, disrupt livelihoods, and impede socio-economic development, which is a major obstacle to sustainable peace around the world.”

“Despite the remarkable progress made through international treaties and demining initiatives, challenges remain and require joint efforts in all areas,” Senior Minister Ly Thuch added.

Prince Foundation has been actively involved in several demining and victim assistance projects. From participating in the High-Level Dialogue on Mine Action in Siem Reap to sponsoring the Malaysian Business Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) Charity Gala Dinner, which supported demining in Kampong Speu province, the Foundation has continually demonstrated its commitment. Notably, Prince Foundation collaborated with UNDP Cambodia to produce a video featuring a message from former James Bond actor Daniel Craig, commemorating the 30th anniversary of demining efforts in Cambodia.

The MBCC has also played a pivotal role in raising funds and awareness to help Cambodia achieve its goal of becoming a mine-free nation. Together with other partners, MBCC launched the campaign “One Person – 4000 Riel,” the amount needed to clear a five-square-meter patch of contaminated land. Through its donations, it helped clear landmines and other UXOs in Sdok commune and three villages in Srang commune in Kampong Speu province.

Similarly, the Textile, Apparel, Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC), with support from the Cambodia Garment Training Institute (CGTI), has been instrumental in providing training and skill development to improve the lives of victims and their families. This initiative enhances their ability to integrate into the workforce and contribute to the country’s development. In 2023, with support from TAFTAC members, a donation of $240,000 was raised to support demining efforts in eight minefields at Koh Sdach commune in Koh Kong province’s Kirisakor district. As a result, the area was declared mine-free that same year.

“TAFTAC is honored to partner with the government’s efforts, through the CMAA, to achieve a landmine-free Cambodia. This initiative highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in reaching such critical goals. We are dedicated to the socio-economic development of Cambodia, working towards a brighter future for all,” said Mr. Albert Tan, Deputy Chairman of TAFTAC.

Prince Foundation’s support extends beyond demining. From September 2022 to September 2023, the Foundation supported the Cambodian Wheelchair Basketball Federation. This initiative highlighted the positive impact of assistance to victims of hazardous explosives and physical disabilities. The Cambodian women’s wheelchair basketball team’s historic achievements at the 2023 ASEAN Para Games, where they secured a gold and a silver medal, underscored the importance of adaptive sports and platforms for athletes with disabilities.

During the convention, Mr. Tan spotlighted the Cambodian model of public and private sector collaboration in mine action as a prime example of effective partnerships. He stressed the critical need for robust alliances with humanitarian organizations to seamlessly integrate demining efforts with broader peacebuilding and development goals. “Building stronger ties between the private sector and humanitarian organizations ensures the holistic integration of demining with a broader peacebuilding and development agenda,” Mr. Tan stated.

“The collaboration between CMAA and private entities like Prince Foundation, the MBCC, and TAFTAC demonstrates the potential of combined efforts. Our joint initiatives not only work towards a mine-free Cambodia but also drive innovation and provide sustainable support for social welfare,” Mr. Tan added.

Collaboration between the private sector and humanitarian organizations can be strengthened through comprehensive strategies that include joint planning and goal setting, shared resources and expertise, and integrated programs combining demining with other humanitarian and development initiatives. Regular communication and coordination are essential to align efforts, and conducting joint impact evaluations and reporting can measure success and identify areas for improvement.

As the global community continues to strive for a mine-free world, contributions from the private sector play an indispensable role in accelerating this journey. Prince Foundation remains committed to driving innovation and creating sustainable support for demining and social welfare initiatives, reinforcing the collective endeavor to achieve a mine-free world.