NATO Project to Destroy Hazardous Ordnance in Azerbaijan
An agreement signed at NATO Headquarters on 14 February, paves the way for a NATO project to destroy hazardous unexploded ordnance in Azerbaijan.
Turkey, the lead nation, signed a Financial Management Agreement for the project at a special ceremony with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the representatives of contributing countries: Azerbaijan, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway and Slovenia.
In addition, the United Nations Development Programme UNDP has pledged funding for this project.
Disposing of deadly materialsThe Partnership for Peace Trust Fund project aims to clear and destroy unexploded ordnance (UXO) located at the former military base at Sologlu and the nearby towns of Agstafa and Poylu.
The UXO contamination represents a considerable safety and environmental hazard to the local population. It has resulted in a number of fatalities and injuries in the past few years. Upon completion of the project, the contaminated area will be handed over to civilian use.
The NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Fund was established in September 2000 to assist NATO partner countries in the safe destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel landmines and munitions.
To date, more than 2 million landmines and munitions have been successfully destroyed within the framework.
The project is estimated to cost EUR 1,4 million. The NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) will act as the executing agent for the project.
This is the first such NATO project in Azerbaijan, and the first time Turkey is acting as lead nation.