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 Wednesday, February 28 2024 14:07
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Mirzoyan: Impunity of illegal use of force by Azerbaijan resulted in  its new territorial claims against Armenia

Mirzoyan: Impunity of illegal use of force by Azerbaijan resulted in  its new territorial claims against Armenia

ArmInfo.  Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan delivered a speech at the High-level  Segment of the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, the press service of the RA MAF informs.

Below is the full statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on  this occasion.

"Mr. President, Distinguished colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,  Armenia congratulates the newly elected Bureau of the Human Rights  Council under the Presidency of H.E.  Ambassador Omar Zniber of  Morocco and wishes all the best at the helm of this august body.

A year ago, from this very stage, the UN Secretary-General warned of  rising public disregard and private disdain for human rights. He  called to stand on the right side of history, to stand up for the  human rights of everyone, everywhere.

Indeed, the world becomes a dangerous place when adherence to human  rights declines, when our common principles and norms, particularly  international law, international human rights and humanitarian law,  are ignored and violated on a massive scale.  

Armenia views this august Council as one of the key pillars of the  protection and promotion of human rights worldwide. It is in this  vein that at this session, Armenia presents a new iteration of  Genocide Prevention resolution. We believe that the HRC should  continue its contribution to the international efforts of countering  the scourge of genocide, not least through exploring ways of  enhancing early warning and early action capacities. And this is the  main thrust of the new draft. We count on the wide support to this  noble goal.

Mr. President,

Since 2020 the international human rights law and international  humanitarian law have been continuously violated in our region. In  the course of the last three and half years, the people of  Nagorno-Karabakh suffered from war of aggression, extrajudicial  killings, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture,  starvation and other forms of inhumane treatment. It endured a  ten-month-long blockade of the Lachin corridor, the only connection  to Armenia and the world, and then was subjected to renewed  hostilities, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous  Armenian population of the region.

We have been witnessing such a policy of Azerbaijan since the 80s of  last century. In fact, today, we commemorate the victims of Sumgait  pogroms. Together with similar acts in Baku, Kirovabad and other  Armenian-populated cities of Azerbaijan, around 360 thousand  Armenians were forced to flee their homes, deprived of all their  rights, including the right to property, and find refuge in Armenia.   Earlier, due to the same-style implemented policy, Armenians left  their homes in Nakhijevan.  Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, there was no shortage of early  warning signs of the looming atrocities.  The list includes  statements from the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for  Human Rights and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the  Prevention of Genocide, Orders of ICJ, public communications of UN  Special Procedure Mandate Holders. 

However, this was not enough for the international community, and I  quote the Secretary General again, "to stand on the right side of  history, to stand up for human rights". Approximately 145.000 people  were forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh and relocated to  Armenia between 2020 and 2023. Here I should state that the  Government of Armenia undertakes all necessary actions to address the  needs and rights of these people. Together with dealing with the  short-term challenges-providing access to education, social  protection, healthcare system, supporting their housing difficulties,  we are already planning concrete actions to address mid-term and  long-term needs aimed at further integration of Nagorno-Karabakh  Armenians.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are more than thousand missing persons and enforced  disappearances on the Armenian side from the wars of the 1990s and  2020. We have 23 prisoners of war and other detainees in Azerbaijan.   We have an immense risk of destruction of Armenian cultural and  religious heritage that the UN Special Rapporteur has recently  warned: "may amount to cultural cleansing."

There is continuous bellicose rhetoric and military escalation  provoked by Azerbaijan following earlier incursions into the  sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. The impunity of the  illegal use of force resulted in new territorial claims against  Armenia. Nowadays, the whole territory of the Republic of Armenia is  presented as so-called "Western Azerbaijan", which was invented with  a pure intention to keep tension in the region.

Nevertheless, Armenia is committed to the peace agenda and will not  deviate from it. We are convinced that mutual recognition of  territorial integrity and inviolability of borders based on the 1991  Almaty declaration and delimitation of the interstate border based on  the most recent and legitimate maps of the USSR is the only path  towards peace and stability in our region. We also do believe that  the opening of all regional communications that respect sovereignty  and jurisdiction of states and is based on the principles of equality  and reciprocity can create additional interdependencies complementing  the stability of the South Caucasus and wider region. To that end,  the Government of Armenia introduced the "Crossroads of Peace"  initiative once again reaffirming our genuine interest and political  will to unblock all the transport links. 

Concluding, I would like to underline that against all odds and  challenges, we have been facing, Armenia continues its path towards  the consolidation of democracy, and we are proud of the remarkable  achievements that have been registered. The recent accession to the  Rome Statute is only one, albeit a major step in this regard that  stands as the token of our unwavering commitment to uphold human  rights.  Armenia is also taking considerable steps to further  strengthen the rights of women, children, and other vulnerable  groups, improve labor rights and social protection mechanisms.  And I  thank you." 

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