The Azerbaijan State News Agency

POLITICS

Zangilan hosts International Conference on “Mitigating Environmental Impact of Landmines: Resource Mobilization for Safe and Green Future”

Baku, May 30, AZERTAC

Co-organized by the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the 3rd International Conference on “Mitigating Environmental Impact of Landmines: Resource Mobilization for Safe and Green Future” kicked off in the city of Zangilan.

The conference aims to draw the world’s attention to the landmine problem facing Azerbaijan, strengthen the international partnership in the field of humanitarian demining, and discuss ways of mobilizing financial resources for mitigating environmental impact of landmines and other explosive remnants of war.

The function drew together more than 300 representatives from 75 countries – senior officials of a number of countries, the leadership of the UN headquarters, representatives of influential international organizations, institutions operating in the field of demining, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan.

The conference opened with an appeal of Tamam Jafarova, who was injured as a result of a mine explosion, to the world community on behalf of mine victims.

Addressing the event, Vahid Hajiyev, the Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan districts highlighted the symbolic meaning of hosting the conference in Zangilan, saying that: “Aghali village of Zangilan was the first settlement where the former IDPs returned.” He highlighted the hard work of deminers, thanks to whom the safety of people is ensured and the impact of mines on the environment is reduced.

Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev read out President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev’s address to the event participants. Assistant to the President thanked the conference’s participants who gathered to discuss the negative impacts of the landmines on the environment, and wished success to the work of the conference.

Speaking at the event, Vugar Suleymanov, Chairman of the Board of the Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, emphasized the need to expand international support to mitigate the impact of mine problems. He provided insight into the various levels of mine and unexploded ordnance contamination in Azerbaijan and detailed the efforts undertaken to eliminate their negative effects.

In her speech, Ivana Živković, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) emphasized the importance of integrating demining activities with environmental restoration and national development programs. “The primary goal is to transform affected lands into thriving ecosystems and sustainable communities,” she added.

Mukhtar Babayev, Azerbaijani Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources and COP29 President-Designate, delivered a video address at the conference where he highlighted the goals of COP29. He stated: “Our goal is to create a green energy zone in the liberated territories. By restoring ecosystems and reintroducing sustainable practices, we aim to turn these lands into green zones.”

The conference continues its work with discussions related to identifying sustainable solutions to the landmine problem and promoting environmental protection to ensure safer future for all.

The opening day also saw the signing of a declaration of intent by Azerbaijan’s Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The document was inked by Vugar Suleymanov, Chairman of the Board of the Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Alessandra Roccasalvo, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Azerbaijan.

The declaration of intent envisages cooperation in the establishment of the Mine Action Center of Excellence in the territory of Azerbaijan.

The Center will provide national, regional, and international training and capacity building, certification, and knowledge transfer in mine action, and promote research and innovation in mine action to develop the latest technologies and methodologies in humanitarian demining.

The establishment of the Center is an indicator of Azerbaijan's intention to increase its capabilities in combating mine threats and contribute to global efforts for a mine-free world.

This initiative reflects Azerbaijan's commitment to peace, security and sustainable development, regional and global cooperation in accordance with both national and international aspirations.

Furthermore, the conference participants visited the Zangilan mosque, then, toured to Aghali village of Zangilan district to get acquainted with the conditions created in Aghali village secondary school.

The guests also watched the demining process and were informed about Azerbaijan's activities in this domain.

The conference will continue its sessions on May 31 in Baku.

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