(Press Release – Baku) :-

On 12th of May current year at 15:00 (Baku time) virtual conference and exhibition took place, entitled: “The Landmine Epidemic and virtual contemporary art exhibition of humanitarian disaster caused by anti-personal landmines”. The conference co-hosted by HOPEMAN.

Consultants UK and the Global Institute for Water Environment and health (GIWEH) from Geneva. In the conference participated the representatives of the well-known international and local organizations and institutions. The chairperson of the project was Leyla Gasimova, HOPEMAN Consultants UK, Senior Advisor.

The conference was targeted to raise awareness about the risks of anti-personal landmines and find the best practices for the regional safety enhancement and sustainable development of the liberated lands. Virtual Contemporary art exhibition demonstrated anti-personal landmines as a humanitarian issue and provided victimized stories of people.

The conference discussed the consequences of the landmines to increase public awareness at the regional and international levels.

The increasing number of casualties as a result of the use of landmines in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan and many other war-torn countries have changed the debate from a political to a humanitarian issue to draw media and public attention, educate societies about the dramatic humanitarian impacts of anti-personal landmines. The message of the conference highlighted the importance of a rapid joint action at the international level to cope with rising challenges. The conference provided an overview of the potential risks of landmines in many countries including Azerbaijan and discussed possible opportunities for eliminating those impacts.

The chief guest around the world noted how consequences and potential risks of the anti-personal mines are a matter for all regional countries.

The chief guests were:

Mrs Leyla Gasimova HOPEMAN Consultants UK, Senior Advisor

Dr Nidal Salim, Founder & Director GIWEH, Global Institute of Water Environment and Health

Dr. Saboor Javaid, Chairperson, Consultants UK, Environmental Scientist and Educational Entrepreneur

Bruno Donat, Chief of the UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service) Geneva Office

Dr Apollo S. Nsubuga-Kyobe, Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia, Justice of the Peace, Member of the Asia Pacific Human Resource Institute

Dr. Steve Ratmetse, CEO Nelson Mandela Organisation, President of Nelson Mandela Day Australia

Dr John Bellavance, Oceania Coordinator, International Association of Academicians for Peace Vice-

President, Universal Peace Federation Australia

Dr Charles Mphande, Senior Lecturer, College of Arts & Education, Victoria University , Melbourne, Australia

Lala van der Kolk, Co-Founder of Mine Mark Foundation, Hague, Netherlands

Dr. Naji Moulay Lahsen, Executive Director of the Network of the Independent Commission of  Human rights in North Africa. Member of the Steering Committee of the NGO Forum and Focal Point of  Northern Africa

Duncan, Lord McNair, Senior Consultant & Advisor (Education & Human Rights). Founder and Director at Peaceful Planet human Rights Education

Vesna Petkovic, Environmental scientist, Historian and Founder Pro-Art Gallery in the UK

Imran A Chowdhury, Founder and CEO Centre for Policy Promotion and Prevention

Dr Burcak Basbug Erkan, Associate Professor of Statistics at Middle East Technical University, Academic Director of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management (ICPEM) UK; Special Advisor to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Chairman of Future Party

Dr. Ahmad Alsaghair, Vice president of Human Solidarity Organisation, Zurich – Switzerland

Mr. Richard Billety, International Institute for Rights and Development, Geneva

Michela Pugliese, Migration and Asylum Researcher at Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor

Dr Saboor Javaid, Chairperson, Consultants UK, Environmental scientist and Educational Entrepreneur,

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and Licentiate Chartered Institute of Waste Management (LCIWM)

Dr Waseem Ahmed, CEO HOPEMAN Consultants UK, Philosophy of Technology and Design, AI & Human Machine Interface System Specialist

Elnur Gasimov, ANAMA Expert

Kerim Sultanov, researcher and historian

Humanitarian crises start at a local level and early preventive actions need to be undertaken to avoid risks escalating and transforming into great challenges of global proportions. The purpose of the conference was to seek help and find common solutions to the potential risks; reduce the existing level of hazards; reduce the probability of accidents at a local and regional level; and enhances cross-border cooperation between conflicting societies via the involvement of third parties. In addition, the importance of raising awareness and the importance of joint action to maintaining stability and commit to peace among conflicting parties were highlighted. Increasing the level of casualties caused by the anti-personal landmines promotes hatred and turns into the obstacles in the future progress of the region.

Develop a special approach to liberated zones, ensuring human and environmental protection and commitment to sustainable peace were among primary objectives of the conference. All the panelist were requested to identify risk mitigation factors, make risk recording, and risk mapping at a local and regional level and propose programs to find the solution that would benefit all regional countries.

All the guests and participants of the event throughout the conference voiced a very important idea, which consisted in an appeal to the Armenian leadership to show a constructive approach and to provide the Azerbaijani side with maps of minefields in the lands liberated by Azerbaijan.

Organizers hope that by this conference they will be able to develop a common vision on cooperation and coordination in the field of anti-personal landmines, ensuring security and sustainable use of the liberated zones.

They also hope that the ideas and solutions raised by the distinguished speakers during the conference will lead to develop a common strategic methodology of the protection of civilians, the environment and other living creatures and set up a common management structure of protection of tangible and intangible heritage in the liberated areas.

The experts in the field, researchers and more countries are invited to discuss possible coordinated or joint activities.