Azerbaijan, Baku, July 6 / Trend M.Aliyev /
The U.N. is ready to support the conservation of biodiversity in Azerbaijan's occupied territories, UNEP representative Yvonne Iguero told journalists today.
"The U.N. is implementing the 'Environmental Safety Initiative' program to protect biodiversity in the conflict zones," she said. "The structure has already held talks on the implementation of relevant activities in the Caucasus upon this initiative."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.
Armenia regularly commits arson in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, which caused serious damage to the environment and biodiversity, the Azerbaijani authorities have reported numerously.
Iguero said the "Environmental Safety Initiative" was launched after the Balkan conflict to protect flora and fauna in border areas.
Gabala is hosting an environmental conference organized by the Azerbaijani government and the UNEP. The event is held in the run-up to the next session of the U.N. General Assembly on Biological Diversity in New York in September.
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