Participants of forum in Aghdam address world community
On behalf of the participants of the international forum "Healthy Environment and Mine-Free Life to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals" held in Aghdam, an appeal to the world community was adopted, Azernews reports.
The statement reads:
"We, the participants of the International Forum entitled "Healthy Environment and Mine-Free Life to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals", appeal to the international community from Aghdam, one of the most mined cities in the world, to be more active in the fight against mines and minefields.
The extensive discussions held in Baku and Aghdam over two days further demonstrated the global context of the problem. Currently, one in three countries on the world map suffers from mine-related problems.
We welcome the initiative to promote humanitarian demining as the 18th UN Sustainable Development Goal. The Republic of Azerbaijan has already identified humanitarian demining as a national goal.
Azerbaijan is among the countries most contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance. According to preliminary information, there are more than 1.5 mln mines and unexploded ordnance on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In 2020, 338 people fell victim to mines in the liberated territories after the 44-day war. Of these, 65 people were killed and 273 people were wounded to various degrees. Among the victims, 9 people are children and young people, and 1 person is a woman. The total number of mine victims in Azerbaijan since 1991 is 3,416 people.
The violation of human rights of mine victims cannot be ignored in any case. The right to life is one of the most natural and fundamental human rights. The landmine problem is today the number one obstacle to construction and reconstruction in Garabagh and East Zangazur, limiting the safe and dignified return of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons to their homes.
The State of Azerbaijan is currently conducting large-scale humanitarian demining operations. In a short period, clearance operations have been carried out over a large area. It is commendable that women's groups of minesweepers are also involved in this process. The experience of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the field of humanitarian demining can be useful to other countries suffering from mine terrorism.
We call on the world community and civil society to provide global public support for the designation of humanitarian demining as the 18th UN Sustainable Development Goal".
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