Umud Mirzayev: "IEPF always comes up with new initiatives based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN"

Society 14:30 06.12.2023

"One of the main issues that concern our world today and has become a global problem is the restoration of ecological security and balance and the increase in pollution. In our modern world, in the conditions of the global environmental crisis, maintaining the necessary balance between the economy, society and the environment has already become one of the most important points.

Ednews reports that Umud Mirzayev, president of the International Eurasia Press Fund, expressed these views in his speech at the International Baku Forum entitled "Healthy environment and mine-free life to achieve sustainable development goals" organized by the State Support Agency for Non-Governmental Organizations.

"In this regard, I can mention as a successful example the concept of "3 Zeros" - Zero carbon emission, zero poverty, zero unemployment, which IEPF supports and is the ambassador of Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. As can be seen, one of the three main components here is to support the improvement of the ecological situation by reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere to zero.

It is very unfortunate that the main source of environmental pollution in Azerbaijan is caused by conflicts, and we, the people of Azerbaijan, have witnessed the harshest face of environmental pollution and terrorism in the last 30 years. Trenches were dug in our lands under occupation for 30 years, more than 900 settlements were turned into ruins, more than 150,000 houses were burned and looted, thousands of buildings, historical monuments, cemeteries were destroyed. In addition to all this, forests, fields, green areas were deliberately burned, the soil layer and the ecosystem were destroyed by harmful sediments. The most terrible thing is that not only agriculture was not developed in those areas, but instead the fertile soil layer was destroyed and polluted with mines. In addition to environmental terrorism, this is also mine terrorism and an international crime. Although the war is over, this invisible enemy continues to fight with us. Along with nature, civilized people are also harmed and lose their lives."

According to U. Mirzayev, the International Eurasia Press Fund, which has signed numerous projects in the direction of solving the problems that always worry the society, has joined the program of combating the mine threat in Azerbaijan since 2000, and today it is one of the main NGO partners of the Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ANAMA):

"In the last 20 years, the Community Mine Action team operating at the base of IEPF cleared more than 1800 anti-personnel mines, more than 1300 anti-tank mines, and about 14200 unexploded military munitions in a total area of more than twelve thousand hectares and handed them over to the end user. Over the years, we have encountered unimaginable and terrifying sights almost every day. Especially, after the Second Karabakh war, we have seen and felt the all-round negative effects of this problem in every inch of land we have advanced. It is no secret that the extent of damage to the ecosystem caused by landmines and munitions pollution is extremely high. That is why maximum resources have been mobilized to solve this problem in our country. The Demining Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan is working with great effort together with its partners. Now Azerbaijani women are also active in mine action together with Azerbaijani men. In June of this year, with the support of the European Union, the United Nations Development Program, the US State Department and ANAMA, the International Eurasia Press Fund established the first women's demining team in Azerbaijan. We are currently cooperating with the world-famous Mine Advisory Group (MAG) and APOPO organization within the framework of that project. We believe that the women of Azerbaijan will fulfill this honorable mission that they have undertaken to clean up our lands contaminated with the seeds of death."

U.Mirzayev continued his opinion that IEPF has always put forward numerous initiatives in the direction of improving the ecological situation and environmental protection and has implemented projects and measures. Institute of Environment and Health (GIWEH) etc. We have organized joint events, parallel sessions, conferences with other reputable organizations:

"The reports we have prepared, the videos and statements we have released have received support at the international level. In particular, I would like to mention the international seminar on "Post-2015 and sustainable development goals" and the reports we prepared together with the Northern Alliance for Sustainability - ANPED. Our organization constantly comes up with new initiatives as an international NGO that works based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and implements projects in accordance with them. IEPF cooperates with the US organization "Roots of Peace" with which it signed a memorandum of understanding.

continuously works towards adding the problem of landmines as the 18th goal. Last year, "Roots of Peace" and IEPF together addressed a joint letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez in this regard. We always pay special attention to the landmine problem in our speeches and statements and call on the world community and international organizations to support the adoption of the 18th SDG. At the summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Baku this year, the President of Azerbaijan took an initiative regarding the 18th SDG and called on the member states to show solidarity.

I use the speech reserved for me as a representative of a civil society organization to once again call on international organizations, NGOs, governments and country leaders to unite and step forward for a mine-free life. We must not forget that the world is the home of each of us. We live on the same earth, under the same sky. Protecting it is the duty of everyone, regardless of religion, language, race, gender, or geography. I call you to unite as a fist for a healthy environment and a mine-free life!"

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