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Declaration of 3rd international conference on mitigating environmental impact of landmines adopted

Declaration of 3rd international conference on mitigating environmental impact of landmines adopted

Baku, May 31, AZERTAC

The Declaration of the 3rd international conference on “Mitigating Environmental Impact of Landmines: Resource Mobilization for Safe and Green Future”, held in Zangilan and Baku, has been adopted.

AZERTAC presents the Declaration.

“We, the participants of the 3rd International Conference on Mine Action held on 30-31 May 2024 in Zangilan and Baku, Azerbaijan, have convened and deliberated on mitigating environmental impact of landmines and resource mobilization for a safe and green future. In this regard,

We,

Expressing deep concern with the devastating and indiscriminate impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) that continue to kill, maim, and traumatize civilians, including children, women, and other non-combatants;

Acknowledging that landmine contamination exerts an impact on the environment, making it critical to prevent and mitigate possible adverse impacts of landmine contamination through appropriate environmentally responsible measures;

Recognizant that climate change adversely affects efforts to mitigate explosive ordnance threats;

Sharing the principles and values of the existing international legal instruments that regulate or ban the use of landmines, cluster munitions, and other ERW, while encouraging all to take steps towards formal adherence to these instruments, including the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of AntiPersonnel Mines and on Their Destruction (“Ottawa Convention”) and the Convention on Cluster Munitions (“Oslo Convention”);

Recalling the resolution No 2365 (2017) of 30 June 2017 of the UN Security Council and all its previous resolutions on mine action;

Recalling also the resolution No 78/70 of 7 December 2023 of the UN General Assembly and all its previous resolutions on assistance in mine action,

Welcoming the UNESCO resolution titled “Impact of landmines on cultural property” adopted at the fifteenth meeting (2023) of the high contracting parties of the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict;

Taking note of the UN Secretary-General’s report titled “Assistance in Mine Action” No. A/78/259, issued on 31 July 2023, in which the exacerbating nexus between landmine contamination and climate change was recognized;

Taking note of the United Nations Mine Action Strategy and the United Nations Policy on Victim Assistance in Mine Action;

Taking note of the International Mine Action Standard IMAS 07.13 “Environmental Management in Mine Action”;

Commending the previous International Conferences on Mine Action held in Azerbaijan in 2022 and 2023 and their outcome documents;

Expressing concern over the serious and lasting social and economic consequences of landmines and explosive remnants of war on the civilian population;

Stressing that mine action continues to be a valuable confidence-building measure in the peace-building process;

1. Call for the integration of environmental aspects of humanitarian demining into mine action efforts;

2. Invite all States and other stakeholders in a position to do so to support mine action in all of its pillars, most notably in mine victim assistance, demining and risk education by allocating adequate and appropriate resources, including technical, financial, and material assistance, training, and by promoting research and development on mine action techniques and technologies;

3. Stress the urgent need for comprehensive measures to prevent further casualties from landmines and ERW, and provide robust support for mine victims, including medical care, rehabilitation, and reintegration into society, and urge states and relevant organizations to allocate resources and expertise to these efforts;

4. Call on the United Nations climate conferences to recognize and address the environmental impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war by including mine action in discussions and policies on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, ensuring the integration of mine clearance and sustainable use following land release in national and international environmental strategies, and allocating resources for that area;

5. Emphasize the importance of mainstreaming mine action into Agenda 2030 process and recommend consideration of this issue at the Summit of the Future to be held later this year;

6. Call on States and relevant stakeholders to enhance cooperation through the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and technology; in this regard, we welcome the statement of intent signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to establish a Center of Excellence on Mine Action Training;

7. Call upon Member States of the UN to comply with their respective international obligations related to mine action, including those related to the exchange of information on the location of landmines;

8. Call for the continuation of the efforts of States and relevant organizations to support the establishment and development of national mine action capacities in countries in which mines and ERW constitute a serious threat to the civilian population, and an impediment to environment, food security, and broader social and economic development;

9. Call on affected states and relevant United Nations agencies and regional organizations and institutions and NGOs involved in mine action to proactively mainstream the environmental aspect of mine action to mobilize efforts and solutions to mitigate adverse impacts of landmine contamination and clearance and encourage the sustainable and environmentally responsible land use following clearance;

10. Express gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the generous support and excellent hospitality in conduct of this conference. We also express our solidarity with Azerbaijan – as well as with all mine-affected countries - in addressing their immense mine problem and call on the international community to support Azerbaijan’s humanitarian mine action efforts;

11. Extend our wishes for success to Azerbaijan in its presidency of the 2024 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 29).”

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