Azerbaijan's Aghdam hosted special session within 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue -PHOTO

# 03 May 2024 18:29 (UTC +04:00)

On May 3, in Aghdam Conference Center, a special conference on “Impact of landmines, improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordinances on cultural property” within the framework of the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue was held, the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan told APA.

First, the guests got familiarized with the exhibition of landmines, improvised explosive devices and unexploded military ordinances planted by the Armenian army in the territory of the district during the period of 30-year occupation.

Bashir Hajiyev, the Deputy Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Aghdam, Fuzuli and Khojavand districts, delivered an opening speech at the session moderated by Ambassador Elman Abdullayev, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO.

Farid Jafarov, the Deputy Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan said that Aghdam was one of the most populated cities of Azerbaijan: “Aghdam’s rich cultural and historical heritage was destroyed, as well as transported to different places of Armenia during the period of 30-year occupation. I am sure that in the near future, Aghdam will flourish and regain its glory.”

The Minister speaking about the landmines which were buried in Azerbaijan’s lands during the period of 30-year occupation that Aghdam is one of the most mined areas in the world: “After the Patriotic War of 2020, more than 60 people were killed as a result of a mine explosion, and more than 300 people were injured. Currently, works related to mine clearance are ongoing.”

Webber Ndoro, Director of the Islamic World Heritage Center at ICESCO shared his experiences in the field of demining process.

Chairperson at Maltese National Commission for UNESCO, cultural heritage expert Raymond Bondin spoke about the damage caused by landmines to intangible cultural heritage.

UN Development Programme (UNDP) expert Qadeem Tariq noted the omportance of thissession. He said that till now, Azerbaijan has held many conferences on threats of landmines and its effects: “We hope that today's session will have a positive impact on the awareness of the international community.”

Head of International and Public Relations Department of the Azerbaijan’s Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) Ramil Azizov provided information about the mines planted by the enemy in Garabagh: “We use the term vandalism for the destruction of cultural heritage. According to researches, it is estimated that more than 1.5 million landmines were planted in Aghdam alone. Dozens of samples of our historical heritage have been mined. The enemy even planted mines in cemeteries. People visiting the graves of their loved ones fell into those mines.”

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