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The UXO Sector in Laos in governed by a national strategic document originaly called the ‘Safe Path Forward’. This was issued as a Prime Ministerial Resolution in 2004, and was focused on formalising and institutionalising the existing UXO Sector activities, namely Clearance, Victim Assistance and Risk Education, in order to strengthen their overall effectiveness and impact.

In 2009 a process of review and revision was undertaken to ensure that the strategy remained relevant in light of the many developments and changes to the whole Sector since its initial inception.

The Safe Path Forward II, as it is now known, is the result of a process of open dialogue and collaboration from all Sector stakeholders. This unified and consensual approach has peroduced a strategic vision that is ambitious and achievable, and a set of objectives, targets and actions that reflect operational realities, respond to village level needs, and promote a concerted effort to strengthen national ownership and capacity.

The Safe Path Forward II

The strategic vision of the SPF II is …
“… a Lao PDR free from the threat of UXO, where individuals and communities live in a safe environment contributing to development and where UXO victims are fully integrated into their societies and their needs are met”.
Within the 10 year timeframe of the strategy the goal will be to reduce the humanitarian and socio-economic impact to such a level that Lao national institution can sustainably manage all remaining UXO related challenges. 

The draft Safe Path Forward II can be viewed here

The SPF II is currently under review by the NRA Board and is expected to be endorsed in early 2010. When this happens the SPF II will be the new strategic framework of the UXO Sector in Laos.

Six key objectives have been agreed upon in the SPF II:

1. Reduce the number of UXO casualties from 300 to less than 75 per year
2. Ensure that the medical and rehabilitation needs of all UXO Survivors are met in line with Treaty obligations
3.Release priority land and clear UXO in accordance with National Standards and Treaty obligations
4.Ensure effective leadership, coordination and implementation of the national programme
5. Establish a sustainable national capacity fully integrated into the regular set-up of the Government
6. Meet international Treaty obligations

To monitor and measure annual progress against these objectives, a Sector-wide annual work plan will be produced annually. This will be an instrument used to evaluate year-to-year achievement and will help guide future policy direction, resource allocation, prioritisation, and strategisation.