On Wednesday, January 17th, the Congressional UXO/Demining Caucus hosted a panel featuring Members of Congress and representatives from the State Department and humanitarian organizations to discuss unexploded ordnance operations in the Pacific Islands.
The panel was introduced by Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Chrissy Houlahan and Bill Johnson, moderated by Rep. Johnson, and discussed challenges and opportunities for UXO clearance in the Soloman Islands, Papua New Guinea, and other Pacific Island nations. Panelists highlighted the humanitarian need and how clearance operations strengthen diplomatic relations and U.S. leadership in the region.
The event also honored Rep. Johnson for his dedication to humanitarian demining throughout his congressional career, featuring a thank you video including a thank you from HALO Sri Lanka and an award presented by HALO USA and the Mines Advisory Group.
Speakers included both Caucus Co-Chairs, Rep. Jill Tokuda, Simon Conway, Head of Program Development at The HALO Trust, Charlie Holloway, Quick Reaction Force Task Manger at Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, and Jerry Guilbert, Chief of Programs at the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA).
Watch the full speaking program, and view photos from the event, below: