Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action English  ENG Azeri   AZE

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR MINE AWARENESS AND ASSISTANCE IN MINE ACTION

The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was declared by the UN General Assembly and observed in 2006 for the first time. It calls for continued efforts by states, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels. Landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to kill or injure as many as 6,000 people a year around the world today. The overwhelming majority of victims are civilians who trigger the devices years or even decades after a conflict has ended. Azerbaijan suffering from mine and UXO problem in a result of the military aggression of Armenia over Azerbaijan's territory. Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) was established by the Presidential Decree in July 1998 to coordinate the mine action program to deal with mine/UXO problem in the country through clearance of lands from mine/UXOs as well as implementation of Mine Risk Education and Mine Victim Support activities. Up to now 126,278,663 sqm of land was cleared and 604,661 UXOs have been destroyed. 123 training sessions for 2,335 teachers from 1200 schools in 24 districts have been conducted. 134 "MRE Committees" have been established in 9 targeted districts. According to the program 55 150 textbooks and more than 10 000 MRE materials have been distributed. Within the frames of Mine Victim Assistance activities - medical check and treatment in sanatorium, the carpet-weaving workshop formed for disabled people and their family members, integration of mine victims into society through vocational rehabilitation and facilitating income generation for their families, distribution of wheelchairs for mine disabled persons, the Community Based Small Business Trainings and Micro-credit Revolving Fund for Azerbaijan Mine Survivors Projects are being implemented. To commemorate April 4, ANAMA organized briefing on mine action activities in Azerbaijan. The venue was in ANAMA operational work sites located in Guzdek settlement of Garadakh region, which is 30 km away from Baku. The Charge d'affaires of the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, Mr. Donald Lu, Ambassador of Jordan, Mr. Adel Mohammed Adaileh, UNDP Resident Representative, a.i. Ms. Noura Hamladji, representatives of Lithuania, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey Embassies, OSCE, UNICEF, ICRC, IOM representatives, as well as Ministries of Internal and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Emergency Situations and Ministry of National Security participated in the event. ANAMA Director Mr. Nazim Ismaylov welcomed the guests and briefed the participants on mine clearance operations in Azerbaijan. After the briefing the guests acquainted themselves with the training equipments organized by TSQA Division and Mine Risk Education corner set by MRE Department. ANAMA demonstrated its manual clearance operations, as well as, mechanical demining (Bozena5 medium flail machine and EOD BOT). UNDP Resident Representative, a.i. Ms. Noura Hamladji, has invited to push a button on a blast machine to blow up mine and unexploded ordnances found during the clearance operations in Guzdek. All these activities will allow once again to highlight the importance of the Day and to keep the cause in the spotlight in Azerbaijan where the challenges in this field are very acute. The meeting closed with a Director's interview to TV channels and Info Agencies.