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Azerbaijan joins first meeting of Global Alliance for Missing

12 April 2022 17:41 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan joins first meeting of Global Alliance for Missing

By Vugar Khalilov

Azerbaijan joined the first meeting of the Global Alliance for the Missing, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland on April 7, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has reported.

The meeting was attended by representatives from 10 member countries (Azerbaijan, Argentina, Estonia, Kuwait, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, the Republic of Korea, and Switzerland), the report added.

The Foreign Ministry and the diplomatic mission in Geneva represented Azerbaijan at the event.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Vice-President Gilles Carbonnier opened the event, by stating that the global number of missing people has increased by 75 percent in the past five years, reaching 173,800.

He stated that the Global Alliance for the Missing was formed to bring global attention to the issue and to promote the implementation of global commitments in this area.

The Azerbaijani representatives informed the participants about the missing people in Azerbaijan and the work being done at the national level to determine their fate.

The diplomats emphasized the difficulties in identifying the remains of those killed in the massacre, as well as discovering mass graves in the villages of Dashalti, Edilli, Sirkhavand, and Farrukh following the liberation of Azerbaijani territories from Armenian occupation.

It was stressed that mine-littered areas are the main obstacle in discovering human remains in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories.

Furthermore, the diplomats highlighted Azerbaijan's efforts to draw international attention to this problem, citing the UN General Assembly's resolution on "Missing Persons".

Hope was expressed that the Global Alliance would draw global attention to the importance of clarifying the fate of missing persons and make a significant contribution to cooperation in this area.

The Global Alliance for the Missing was established at the ICRC initiative in Switzerland on May 11, 2021. Azerbaijan joined the initiative in January 2022 at the invitation of the ICRC.

On May 11, 2021, the ICRC initiative in Switzerland established the Global Alliance for the Missing. ICRC invited Azerbaijan to join the initiative in January 2022.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan joined the Alliance at the request of ICRC President Peter Maurer, due to its commitment to international obligations to clarify the fate of thousands of people missing as a result of the conflict, as well as its cooperation with the ICRC in the field of data collection and technical support for missing persons since the 1990s.

Maurer also emphasized the significance of Azerbaijan's role at the global level as a co-author of the UN General Assembly Resolution on Missing Persons.

Baku has urged the international community to put pressure on Yerevan to fulfill its obligations regarding the fate of Azerbaijani citizens who went missing during the first Karabakh war (1988-1994).

It was recalled that, under the 1949 Geneva Convention and its relevant protocols, as well as general international humanitarian law, Armenia is required to provide information on civilian and military Azerbaijani citizens (who were systematically killed by Armenian armed forces) and the location of their mass graves.

Armenia has to provide information about the mass graves of 3,890 missing Azerbaijani citizens (including 71 children, 267 women and 326 elderly people).

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