EU increases support for mine action in Azerbaijan, helps establish Centre of Excellence

Society Materials 25 June 2024 18:33 (UTC +04:00)

A first event gathering mine experts from EU Member States and from the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) is taking place today in Baku.

This initiative is part of a wider effort by the European Union to support to humanitarian demining in the country. The EU, together with its Member States, is to date the biggest international donor in the field of mine action in Azerbaijan, as illustrated by the launch of a “Team Europe Initiative” earlier in May. In the wake of President von der Leyen’s phone call with President Ilham Aliyev on 4 April, the EU is now planning substantial additional financial support to help Azerbaijan tackle the enormous challenge that explosive ordnance represent, with an additional EUR 10 million being planned over the 2024-2025 programming period. This effort is also part of a wider cooperation agenda ahead of COP-29.

In this context, today’s event is the first in a series to support help set up and operationalise a Centre of Excellence to share knowledge across the region. The Centre – run by the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action ANAMA - is expected to display specialised training facilities research and development capabilities, and to offer training programs for national and international personnel, focusing on the latest techniques and technologies in the mine action sector. Azerbaijan, who recently hosted the Third International Conference on Mine Action in Baku, ambitions to establish the Centre of Excellence in cooperation with the UN and international partners.

With that objective in mind, the first workshop organised today with ANAMA under the Technical Assistance and Information exchange (TAIEX) Instrument of the European offers a platform for sharing best practices, lessons learned and innovative solutions with experts from EU Member States and partner. Experts from Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will share knowledge and long-term experience in the field of strategic planning, gender equality in mine action, victim assistance, quality and risk management, environmental aspects and new technologies.