Azerbaijan Submits to UN Report on Struggle against Mines

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 21 November 2008 14:06 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 November / Trend corr. J.Babayeva/ Azerbaijan submitted a voluntary report to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on anti-mine action.

Azerbaijan's report will be included in official materials of annual conference of the countries, which joined the Ottawa Convention, in Geneva from 24 to 28 November, Hafiz Safikhanov, the chairman of the Azerbaijani Company Against Mines (ACAM) Public Unity, told journalists on 21 November.

The Convention on banning use, accumulation of reserves, production and transfer of antipersonnel mine and on their destruction was signed in Ottawa in December 1997. A total of 156 countries of the world joined this Convention.

Although Azerbaijan did not join the convention because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the country fulfills many obligations, described in the document.

Armenia has occupied 20% of Azerbaijan's lands including Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding seven regions. The occupation began in 1988. Azerbaijan lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and Nagorno-Karabakhїs seven surrounding regions. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful, but fruitless negotiations

Production of mines, their transit and accumulation of reserves have not revealed in Azerbaijan. "Azerbaijan did not use mines after signing ceasefire agreement with Armenia. However, it was not excluded that Azerbaijan will use mines in the case of military operations. Azerbaijan officially participates in actions, held within the framework of the Convention and presents position of the country on mine problems," the unity said.

It has been three years that Azerbaijan votes for resolution, which targets to universalize the Ottawa Convention.

According to Safikhanov, a voluntary report of Azerbaijan was developed in accordance with the seventh Article of the Convention (Transparency measures).

"The report specially stresses that Azerbaijan increases financing for anti-mine actions year by year," he said.

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