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Landmine Free South Caucasus

The Landmine Free South Caucasus campaign is co-ordinated by LINKS Europe. For further information, please contact office@links-europe.eu

Landmine Free South Caucasus

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Fear and lack of trust are an obstacle for peaceful co-existence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh

Fear and lack of trust are an obstacle for peaceful co-existence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh

A recent survey of women from the large community of Azerbaijanis displaced by the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh in the 1990s shows that fear and lack of trust are an obstacle for peaceful co-existence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh. The survey is part of a report, “IDP Women: needs assessment for post conflict life, including expectations for safe return home”, prepared by Khalisa Shahverdiyeva on behalf of the Azerbaijani NGO “Women’s empowerment for sustainable development”. Following the 2020 Karabakh war a new situation has emerged which opened the prospect of the return of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis displaced by the fighting in the 1990s to their place of origin, and in many cases to live together or in close proximity with Armenian communities. The survey covered 590 internally displaced women, while 30 more women were interviewed to get a tentative picture of their needs and expectations, including their fears and concerns for peace-building and returning home.  The overwhelming majority (87.55%) of respondents highlighted the necessity of being free from danger as a decisive factor behind their decision to relocate. Consequently, the full-scale clearance of landmines supported by a guarantee of non-resumption of armed hostilities have been underscored as key factors for IDPs’ return home.  
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UN Secretary General says  “Mine action is an investment in humanity. It is a prerequisite for humanitarian relief efforts and the foundation of lasting peace and sustainable development.”

UN Secretary General says  “Mine action is an investment in humanity. It is a prerequisite for humanitarian relief efforts and the foundation of lasting peace and sustainable development.”

The United Nations marks 4 April as International Landmine Awareness Day.  This year, in a message on the occasion, UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres said that the day  “reminds us how far we have come in clearing the world of explosive remnants of war – and how far we still have to go.” Gutteres pointed out that in Ukraine, the legacy of a single month of war – in the form of unexploded ordnance, landmines, and cluster munitions – will take decades to tackle, threatening lives long after the guns fall silent. In his message Antonio Gutteres also called on all states to accede without delay to the Ottawa Convention banning the production and use of landmines. "Permanent members of the Security Council in particular have a special responsibility", Gutteres said.
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Event
EU supports all actors working for a South Caucasus free of landmines

EU supports all actors working for a South Caucasus free of landmines

The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, told a regional conference in Tbilisi on Friday (5 November) that the objective of a landmine free South Caucasus is within sight. "This will require strong commitment by the local governments and will be achieved quicker by a regional approach which we very much support. You can be assured that The EU will stand behind this and support all the actors In achieving what we all want South Caucasus free of mines".
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Georgia supports efforts to clear the South Caucasus from all landmines and unexploded ordnance

Georgia supports efforts to clear the South Caucasus from all landmines and unexploded ordnance

Georgia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia told a regional conference held in hybrid format on 5 November that landmine contamination disrupts economies, limits the cultivation of agricultural land, displaces communities and challenges access to transportation and other infrastructure. "Since landmines clearly inhibit peace-building and stabilisation efforts we have been actively contributing to the international efforts aiming to achieve a landmine free world", he added.
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Armenia's landmine problem discussed at Yerevan event

Armenia's landmine problem discussed at Yerevan event

The keynote speaker in the conference “Mobilising national and international efforts to make Armenia free of landmines and unexploded ordnance” was the newly appointed Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise, Mr Vaghinak Sargsyan, who gave a detailed report of the ongoing efforts of the Centre to clear Armenia of landmines and other unexploded ordnance. Mr Sargsyan said that the role of the Centre was also educational and CHDE was working to increase awareness of the problem of landmines not only in affected communities, but also nation-wide. Mr Sargsyan said that CHDE was open to work in co-operation with international partners for this objective.
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Baku conference told that the return of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis displaced by the first Karabakh War was hindered by the huge problem of landmines

Baku conference told that the return of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis displaced by the first Karabakh War was hindered by the huge problem of landmines

The conference ‘Overcoming the challenges of landmines in Azerbaijan’s quest for peace, development and reconstruction’ was held on Tuesday, 12 October 2021. The event was organised in the framework of the 2021 campaign, ‘Landmine Free South Caucasus’ by LINKS Europe, in association with the Caucasus Policy Analysis Centre, with the participation of ANAMA, the State Demining Agency of Azerbaijan.