OSCE Workshop on
International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) together with the OSCE organized workshop on "Regional Cooperation and Confidence Building Through Mine Action" that was held from 5 until 6 October 2005 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Government of Georgia hosted the workshop and the Governments of Slovenia, Canada and the Netherlands provided financial contributions. Over 70 participants attended including delegations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and of number of non-governmental and international organizations involved in activities of Mine Action.
The main goals of the workshop held in Tbilisi were to give participants an overview of the mine problem in the regions of South Caucasus and Central Asia and to establish proper environment for dialogue among nations of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as countries from Central Asian region to discuss possible ways of cooperation within the field of Mine Action, which could serve as confidence building measure and lead toward regional cooperation in between countries in the respected regions.
Several examples of confidence building and regional co-operation in other mine-affected regions were presented at the workshop to help form the basis for further discussion on how the regional co-operation could be improved in both South Caucasus and Central Asia regions.
Landmines present by far one of the most significant security, humanitarian, environmental, economic and development problems of the international community. Areas covered with mines have direct and indirect impact on community, manifested in a huge number of civilian casualties, the population’s health, losses in livestock, arable land, supplies, production and trade, constant fear and threat, resumption of animosity, distrust and intolerance.
Workshop was also an occasion for OSCE as the leading international organization in the region of South Caucasus as well as Central Asia to support removal of landmines and other mine action activities can improve overall security and socio-economic situation in the region and in many ways complement OSCE core activities and therefore additionally contribute to OSCE role in the respected regions.
In final statement of the workshop it was agreed by all participants to organize a follow up on the workshop in the region of Central Asia as well as to intensify relations and cooperation to reach the goal of mine free regions of South Caucasus and Central Asia.