A first event gathering mine experts from EU Member States and from the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) is taking place today in Baku, Report informs.

This initiative is part of a wider effort by the European Union to support to humanitarian demining in the country. The EU, together with its Member States, is to date the biggest international donor in the field of mine action in Azerbaijan, as illustrated by the launch of a “Team Europe Initiative” earlier in May.

In the wake of President von der Leyen’s phone call with the President Aliyev on 4 April, the EU is now planning substantial additional financial support to help Azerbaijan tackle the enormous challenge that explosive ordnance represents, with an additional €10 million being planned over the 2024-2025 programming period. This effort is also part of a wider cooperation agenda ahead of COP-29.

In this context, today’s event is the first in a series to support help set up and operationalize a Centre of Excellence to share knowledge across the region. The Centre – run by the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action ANAMA – is expected to display specialized training facilities research and development capabilities, and to offer training programs for national and international personnel, focusing on the latest techniques and technologies in the mine action sector. Azerbaijan, who recently hosted the Third International Conference on Mine Action in Baku, ambitions to establish the Centre of Excellence in cooperation with the UN and international partners.