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 Monday, February 26 2024 15:43
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenian NGOs call on civil society representatives not to  participate in COP29 in Azerbaijan

Armenian NGOs call on civil society representatives not to  participate in COP29 in Azerbaijan

ArmInfo. More than 30 Armenian non-governmental organizations issued a statement calling on  civil society representatives not to participate in the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ("COP29") in Azerbaijan.

The statement issued by NGOs states, in particular:

"CALLING CIVIL SOCIETY NOT TO ATTEND COP29 IN AZERBAIJAN The 29th  session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations  Framework Convention on Climate Change ("COP29") is scheduled to be  held on November 11- 24, 2024 in Azerbaijan. 

COP29 will be held in a country that was expelled from the  Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) by the  decision of the PACE in 2024 for many reasons, in particular, the  organization of the blockade of Nagorno Karabakh and military  operations, continuous violations of human rights in Azerbaijan,  because of the persecutions against opposition politicians and  independent media. The Civil Coalition of Azerbaijani Exiles (AZEX),  represented by the Institute for Human Rights (IHR) and the Institute  for Freedom and Safety of Journalists (IRFS), calls on UN member  countries to objectively assess the situation with human rights and  democracy in Azerbaijan and not allow the current authorities to  receive political dividends by holding such a large-scale event as  COP-29 in Azerbaijan. 

Against the backdrop of pressures against the independent press and  civil society in Azerbaijan, fake "public" associations are being  created, such as the recently formed Environment First coalition,  which promotes the aggressive and military agenda of the Aliyev  government. One of the founders of the coalition is Amin Mamedov, who  was an active participant in the siege of Nagorno Karabakh in  2022-2023. As a result of the blockade, around 120,000 people were  deprived of basic necessities, heating and medicine. The fake  environmentalists were then replaced by the military. Ethnic  Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh were forcibly displaced from their  homes.  Azerbaijan is expanding production of carbon-based fuels with  support from major oil companies and some political leaders. At the  same time, climate risks and environmental damage are increasing  significantly. The area of Absheron peninsula is polluted with oil  and oil products, beryllium, lead, uranium  (https://tehranconvention.org/system/files/tcis/caspian_soe_2011_rus.pdf). The  contaminated area makes up 21.3 thousand hectares (TASIS 2009).

"Azer-Iod" LLC emits radioactive iodine into the Mil Mughan  irrigation canal, which supplies water to Mirgurbanli and Yeni  Geshlag villages of Neftchala District in Azerbaijan. Residents  complained, but the government-controlled press interviewed only the  company's employees.  https://media.az/society/1067841929/radioaktivnyy-  yod-travit-zhiteley-neftchaly-foto/.  In 2023, Soydulu Village  residents in Gadabay District, Azerbaijan, protested against the  construction of a cyanide tailings dump, which was intended for the  waste generated by the operation of the Gyadaba gold and silver mine.  Violent actions were taken against the residents by law enforcement  agencies, using batons, rubber bullets, pepper and tear gas.  (https://caneecca.org/azerbajdzhan-mestnoe-naselenie-protiv-  czianidnogo-ozera/). No Azerbaijani organization has come forward in  defense of the inhabitants of Soydulu village and the environment.   The participation of independent non-governmental organizations and  the free press in COP 29 in Baku does not have security guarantees,  provocations or forced expulsion from the country cannot be ruled  out, as happened with the member of the Swiss parliament Nick Guger  during the 2024 presidential elections in Azerbaijan, who was rudely  and demonstratively deported from Azerbaijan despite the status of an  accredited observer at the Central Committee of Azerbaijan and a  Swiss diplomatic passport.  "We are concerned about the safety of  climate activists who will go to COP29. We know that civil society in  Azerbaijan is very limited in its activities and cannot safely  advocate for important social issues. Our members have already been  discriminated against during the climate negotiations, so the  Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate  Change should pay special attention to security and large-scale civil  society participation at COP29," said Olga Boyko, coordinator of the  largest international climate network CAN EECCA.   https://caneecca.org/cop29- proidet-v-azerbaidzhane/ We, the   representatives of the civil society, taking into account the PACE  position of the authoritative international organizations regarding  Azerbaijan, the numerous statements of the civil society on the  international platforms regarding human rights violations in  Azerbaijan, as well as rejecting the manipulative attempts of the  Azerbaijani fake environmental organizations and coalitions to impose  an aggressive political agenda of the Aliyev dictatorial regime, call  civil society not to participate in the political show organized by  the oil lobby at COP29.  The Statement is open to join.  1."EcoLur"  Informational NGO

2."Center for Community Mobilization and Support" NGO

3. "Ecological Public Union" NGO

4. "Dalma-Sona" Environmental Foundation

5. Helsinki Civil Assembly Vanadzor office

6. "Helsinki Association" Human Rights Defending NGO

7. Transparency International Anti Corruption Centre

8. "Green Armenia" Environmental NGO

9.  "Ecological Right" NGO

10."Human Rights Research Center" NGO

11. "Prospective Development Center" NGO

12. "Armenian Forests" NGO

13. "Armenian Environmental Front" Voluntary Initiative

14. "Khazer" Ecological and Cultural NGO

15."Direct Democracy" NGO

16."Pink Armenia" NGO

17."Peace Dialogue" NGO

18. "Women resource center" NGO

19. "Success Lady Youth" NGO

20ú "Public Oversight" NGO

21ú "Spitak Helsinki Group" human rights NGO

22. "New Horizons" NGO

23. "Green Changes" NGO

24. "Martuni Women's Community Council" NGO

25. "Goris Press Club" NGO

26. "Public Journalism Club" NGO

27ú "Cinemart" youth NGO

28ú "Civil Youth Center" NGO

29. Chemical Safety Coalition

30ú Law Development and Protection Foundation  

31. "For Equal Rights" NGO". 

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