ArmInfo.Ambassador Christian Ter-Stepanian, Permanent Representative of Armenia to UNESCO, delivered a speech at the first plenary session of the 217th session of the Executive Board of the organization on October 9.
According to a press release by Armenia's Foreign Ministry, in his speech, Ambassador Ter-Stepanian referred to the forced mass displacement of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of the policy of ethnic cleansing implemented by Azerbaijan. He noted that more than 100,000 Armenians from Nagorno- Karabakh were forced to leave their homeland and found refuge in the Republic of Armenia.
The ambassador highlighted the steps taken by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces immediately after the September 19 military attack and the departure of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, particularly emphasizing the destruction of the cross placed near Stepanakert and the attempts to appropriate and distort the identity of Gandzasar, one of the most famous medieval Armenian monasteries.
Ambassador Ter-Stepanian emphasized that those steps once again demonstrate Azerbaijan's intention to destroy any Armenian traces in Nagorno-Karabakh, something about which Armenia has raised alarm as of November 2020.
In this context, the ambassador specially emphasized the urgency of sending the fact-finding mission of UNESCO to Nagorno-Karabakh, noting that the implementation of such a mission is among the programs considered by the Director General.
He also highly appreciated the UNESCO mission already in Armenia to assess the necessary conditions for the continuity of education of 30,000 children displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh.
Concluding his speech, the Permanent Representative of Armenia to UNESCO emphasized the importance of proper assessment and involvement of the international community in the current situation.