Historical background to the document to "From talk of the President of Azerbaijan at the meeting with the representatives of the International Humanitarian Organizations" (New York, July 29, 1997)

More than one million Azerbaijanis have been forced out of their lands and becoe refugees and IDPs as a result of Armenia`s aggression against Azerbaijan and occupying its territories. The government of Azerbaijan takes necessary steps with different countries of the world and humanitarian organizations to overcome this humanitarian crisis.

Established in 1993, the State Committee on the Affairs of Refugees and IDPs takes necessary steps together with the international organizations to resolve of the problems of refuges and IDPs. The Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev has issued various orders and decrees for improvement of the living conditions of refugees and IDPs. (http://www.refugees-idps-committee.gov.az/)

Nearly 70 international humanitarian organizations have acted in Azerbaijan in 1993-1995. They have contributed $ 160 million amounted aid for Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs in 1994. This amount has gradually decreased in the following years and dropped to $ 40 million in 2000. (http://www.internationalspecialreports.com/)

Mainly the Adventist development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Children`s Direct Aid (CAD), Cooperatives for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCRC), International Rescue Committee, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Norwegian Humanitarian Enterprise, OXFAM, Relief International, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), UNHCR, UNICEF, World Vision and other organizations have acted in Azerbaijan. (http://www.azer.com/)

During his first official visit to the USA paid on July 27-August 7, 1997, the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev met a group of directors of the international humanitarian organizations at the UN headquarters. The Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, head of the Humanitarian Affairs Department of the organization Yasaushi Akashi and representatives of International Rescue Committee, Save The Children, International Reconstruction Centre, International Food Distribution Committee, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Medecins Sans Frontieres, ICRC, Soros Foundation, American Relief Organization, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, American Red Cross Community and UNICEF took part at the meeting. (Together Towards The New Century, official visit of Heydar Aliyev, The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States of America, 27 July-7 August 1997, Translated by Rauf Husseinov, p.172.)

The representatives of the organizations said they were satisfied with the development in Azerbaijan and informed of their projects in Azerbaijan and contributions for refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan in the meeting with Heydar Aliyev. (ibid., 173)

Heydar Aliyev expressed his pleasure with the increase of aid from the international humanitarian organizations for broad development of Azerbaijan. However, the head of state said that because of the unjust Section 907 of the US Congress there was no official US aid to Azerbaijan, whose territories have been subjected to aggression and occupied by Armenia. He stated that this issue would be the main topic at in the talks during his US visit.

In the following years, during the period until the temporary waive of Section 907 in January 2002, the international humanitarian organizations and other states played an important role in rendering humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan.

A "BP", "ExxonMobile" sponsored conference was held in Azerbaijan with the participation of the international humanitarian organizations in Azerbaijan in February 2004. In his letter sent to the participants of the conference, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the international humanitarian organizations contributed $ 600 million aid to Azerbaijan and expressed the hope that the cooperation would continue in future. (http://www.bakutoday.net/)

In April 2007, in his talk with the UN representative on the affairs of refugees and human rights, Ilham Aliyev said millions of US dollars have been assigned for improvement of living conditions of refugees and IDPs, and the refugee camps would be eliminated by the end of the year. (http://www.today.az/)

Historical background was updated on June 21, 2007