"A new cluster bomb ban has finally come into effect, but 37 years after the last US bomb fell here, Laos – the world’s most affected country – still feels the impact of unexploded ordnance (UXO) across all sectors of society.
According to Lao government statistics, US forces dropped more than two million tonnes of ordnance between 1964 and 1973. Each year, about 300 people are killed or wounded in UXO accidents.
Laos will host the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in November and will assume the presidency for the following 12 months.
The hope is that with its increased presence on the international stage, further funds will go to Laos. A UXO trust fund has been set up by the government and UNDP in Laos to manage the resources for the UXO sector."