BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
A Conference in Azerbaijan involving The World Bank, the IMF and MPs from 70 nations has been warned not to forget the two-decade old Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as it works to overcome issues elsewhere in the world.
The annual meeting of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund met on Friday to discuss the recent peace deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the current global efforts to cement that peace through economic development.
In a message from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the region is set to receive an additional $1 billion development funding as a "peace dividend".
"We're going to put on the table a really bold proposal for economic development in the entire region," he said via video-link, at the start of his mission with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
"The commitment to peace is critical. Now we get to ensure there is a peace dividend; that if you commit to peace there will be economic development and of course jobs."
Host nation Azerbaijan fully supports the DRC peace initiative but seized on the fact that while the 200 MPs in attendance rightly concerned themselves with this African conflict, there remains an unresolved and un-discussed conflict less than 300km from the conference in Baku that receives far less attention from the international community.
"International organisations are not interested in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh problem," said the event host, Azerbaijani MP Elkhan Suleymanov, speaking at the conference venue.
"Organisations such as the Council of Europe, the UN, the European Parliament and many others are not interested whatsoever."
Suleymanov said whatever efforts are made to secure peace elsewhere through development funding; the on-going conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh remains a world away from any kind of permanent resolution.
Earlier, in his address he warned the assembled MPs that economic issues could yet play a dangerous role in Nagorno-Karabakh. He said the Sarsang water reservoir, which for the past two decades has been under Armenian control, is now in a critical state of disrepair and is at risk of cataclysmic failure.
He highlighted the issue to show how a lack of investment by one nation can pose a serious threat to another. In this case that means a threat to the lives of more than 400,000 people living downstream.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor