On 5-6 July, International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief was held in London. The Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United Kingdom Varuzhan Nersesyan represented Armenia at the Ministerial conference.
In the national pledge Ambassador Nersesyan reiterated Armenia’s commitment to democratic values, human rights including freedom of religion and belief. With a key emphasis on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, Ambassador highlighted the necessity of protecting and restoring the historic presence of Christianity in the region and Armenia’s consistent efforts towards the restoration and preservation of that millennia old heritage.
Ambassador Nersesyan emphasized Azerbaijan’s systematic destruction of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh, as a vivid manifestation of religious intolerance and hatred. Ambassador drew attention to the targeting and desecration of the Holly Saviour Cathedral in Shushi during and after the 2020 war against Nagorno Karabakh, as well as the destruction of numerous other significant sites stressing how alarming this is against the backdrop of the complete annihilation of the Armenian religious and cultural heritage in Nakhichevan.
The Ambassador also highlighted Azerbaijan’s neglect towards the implementation of the International Court of Justice’s ruling (7/12/2021) which instructed the Azerbaijani state to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration of Armenian cultural heritage.
Ambassador Nersesyan concluded by underlining the urgent need to review and reshape existing international mechanisms responsible for the protection of human rights and freedoms and reaffirmed Armenia’s readiness to cooperate with all interested partners in protecting the rights of religious minorities and upholding the international community’s common shared values.