Politics 11:35 25/04/2023 Armenia

Alarming situation in Nagorno-Karabakh close to turning into humanitarian catastrophe, Armenian envoy tells UN

Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mher Margaryan delivered remarks at the UN Security Council open debate on “Effective multilateralism through the defense of the principles of the UN Charter" on 24 April marking the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. His full statement is provided below.

"Mr. President,

We thank the Russian Presidency of the Security Council for the opportunity to take part in this debate and to reflect on the meaning and message of effective multilateralism and the importance of defending the principles of the United Nations Charter. We thank the Secretary-General for his valuable briefing earlier today.

This day - the 24th of April carries special meaning for the Armenian people, as it marks the date of commemoration of 1.5 million innocent lives lost as a result of a systematic campaign of violence against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. One of the darkest pages in history of the early 20th century, the Armenian Genocide is a stark reminder of the extent, to which humanity can degrade in the conditions of a crisis of the international order. It also stands as a compelling point in case in promoting prevention of such calamities to deliver on the promise of the Charter of the United Nations to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in the 20th century has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

The Armenian people, who went through the horrors of the unspeakable atrocities committed under the cover of the World War I, demonstrated selfless courage and enormous sacrifice during the Second World War, having invested, as a small nation, a disproportionately high human cost into the victory and hence to the creation of the international organization to be known as the United Nations.

The distinctive contribution of the Armenian people in rendering victory in the World War II is well known. Almost six hundred thousand Armenians participated in the war — more than half of them did not return from the battlefields. Four Marshals, one Admiral of the Fleet and sixty generals were among the Armenians who fought in WWII. Thousands of our Diaspora compatriots are known for their remarkable service in the Allied forces in different parts of the world, including those in the Resistance movement.

The calamities of the past have served to yield unambiguous lessons for the future of multilateralism, which effectively rests upon its capacity to protect the people, the owners of the UN Charter, from tragic recurrence of extreme human suffering.

Mr. President,

Distinguished members of the Council,

Adherence to the purposes and the principles of the international law is indispensable for the maintenance of international peace and security — for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and suppression of acts of aggression; as well as for the development of friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, as prescribed in the UN Charter. Time and again, Armenia has consistently alerted the international community on the instances of gross violations of the international law in our part of the world. We have repeatedly brought it to the attention of this Council that Azerbaijan — Armenia’s neighbor, who is multiple times larger in size, and resources — has been engaging in the illegal practice of acquisition of territories by force.

In 2020, Azerbaijan launched a wave of deadly violence in the region, in an attempt to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by force, contrary to provisions of the UN Charter. The reality is that Azerbaijan exploited the vulnerabilities of the international order and the deficiencies of multilateral system to launch a large-scale military aggression, conducted in gross violation of the international humanitarian law, accompanied with numerous cases of atrocities, including against the civilians.

In September 2022, Azerbaijan launched yet another criminal attack targeting densely populated areas and civilian infrastructure in Armenia.

Mr. President,

Since 12 December 2022 the population of 120,000 people in Nagorno-Karabakh has been kept hostage in the conditions of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan, disrupting the only lifeline connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the outer world.

On 22 February, this year, the International Court of Justice issued provisional measure, according to which Azerbaijan shall “take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions”. To this date, it has failed to implement the Court’s legally binding Order, engaging, instead, in manipulative interpretations, distortions and fabrications, which, as we have seen, have little value in the court of law.

Notwithstanding the presence of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation on the ground, as per 9 November 2020 Trilateral statement, not only has the corridor continued to remain disrupted for over 4 months now, but, as of yesterday, an Azerbaijani checkpoint was installed, in flagrant violation of the commitments under the Trilateral statement and the Order of the ICJ.

We have been warning the United Nations and this Council that the alarming situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is close to turning into a humanitarian catastrophe. Two and a half years into the establishment of the ceasefire, the UN and its humanitarian agencies are yet to render the much needed assistance for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Mr. President,

By now, it should be beyond any reasonable doubt for anyone in the international community that Azerbaijan has steadily established itself as a serial violator whose record of aggressive, criminal actions in the region must be acknowledged for what they represent – premeditated, carefully planned and executed efforts, which are demonstrative of an intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national and ethnic group as such.

The masterminds of such plans in Azerbaijan, as well as their enablers, must however bear in mind, that no amount of distorted narrative, or corruption and manipulations with energy resources can alter the fact that there is no statute of limitation for a certain category of crimes, and those committing such serious violations will have to face responsibility, including through mechanisms of international jurisdiction, as justice and accountability must be at the core of effective multilateralism.

I thank you."

Source Panorama.am
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