Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines

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AzCBL's 10th Anniversary

10th Anniversary of Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines

The international conference on the problem of antipersonnel mines within the territory of the former USSR "New Steps for a Mine Free Future" was conducted in Moscow on May 28-29, 1998.  Representatives from the NGO community decided to create the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines (AzCBL) after the completion of this conference and officially declared their intentions on June 3, 1998.  In March 2007, the AzCBL was officially registered at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan.  The AzCBL is a member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the Cluster Munitions Coalition (CMC), a global network of over 1,400 groups in more than 90 different countries, working together towards the vision of a world free of antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions. 

Some background information on the AzCBL’s activities:

·         The AzCBL conducts monitoring of the problems caused by mines.

·     The AzCBL conducts Mine Risk Education Programs for populations living on the frontline.

·     The AzCBL conducts information delivery campaigns about mine problems to the population and state bodies.

·        For the first time in Azerbaijan, the AzCBL created a data base of mine victims, and conducted a needs assessment of mine survivors within the territory of the former USSR.

·        The AzCBL created the Azerbaijan Landmine Victims Association to help foster the integration of mine survivors into Azerbaijani society.

·       For the first time in Azerbaijan, the AzCBL managed to lend money interest free to mine survivor’s small businesses within the territory of the former USSR.  This activity is currently ongoing.

·        The AzCBL has conducted 32 seminars on juridical and psychological assistance for mine victims and taught them how to create their own small business during the aforementioned activities.

·        The Ottawa Convention was published and translated into the Azeri language; some articles of the convention were shown on TV within the framework of the public campaign.

·        The AzCBL organized a one-hour TV talk show about mine problems in Azerbaijan with the participation of representatives of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), NGOs, mine survivors and students from various universities.

·      The AzCBL organized two international seminars on the problems of antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions with the participation of representatives from the CIS, Turkey and Iran.

·      From June 1998 to June 2008, the AzCBL has produced 42 monthly information bulletins, held 38 press conferences, and has been published in newspapers with more than 350 articles and interviews about the landmine and cluster munitions problem in Azerbaijan.

The AzCBL is involved in researching and monitoring the country’s landmine situation, lobbying for Azerbaijan’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, promoting public awareness of the issue and assisting mine survivors.  The AzCBL researched and wrote the Azerbaijan country report for the Landmine Monitor Report each year from 1999 to 2008.