On August 11, the Republic of Armenia appealed to the United Nations Security Council with a request to convene an emergency meeting regarding the deterioration of the humanitarian situation as a result of the total blockade inflicted upon the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Permanent Representative of Armenia to the UN, Mher Margaryan, in a letter addressed to the President of the UN Security Council, particularly stated:
“Further to the letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia addressed to the President of the Security Council dated 12 July 2023, I am writing in relation to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation as a result of the total blockade inflicted upon the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The severe shortage of essential goods, including food, medicine and fuel, has been exacerbated since June 15, 2023, when Azerbaijan fully blocked the Lachin corridor – the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the outer world – by banning any access to Nagorno-Karabakh, even humanitarian. The continued deliberate obstruction of natural gas and electricity supply to Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan has been detrimental for the daily life of the people.
The suspension of all humanitarian supplies coupled with the gradual utilization of limited domestic stocks, targeted shootings of agricultural areas by Azerbaijani Armed Forces, has resulted in an acute food shortage and closures of shops. Due to the lack of essential food and vitamins, approximately 2,000 pregnant women, around 30,000 children, 20,000 older persons, and 9,000 persons with disabilities are struggling to survive under conditions of malnutrition.
People with chronic diseases, including 4,687 individuals with diabetes and 8,450 individuals with circulatory diseases, are left almost without any medicine needed. As a result of this situation there has been a recorded increase of mortality from several diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and malignant neoplasms. From January to July, compared to the same period of the previous year, the level of anemia among pregnant women under medical observation has reached around 90%. This is due to inadequate nutrition and the absence or insufficiency of appropriate medications. Moreover, the hot weather conditions and absence of sanitizers and medicine create risks of epidemics in the region.
As a result, today the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are on the verge of a full-fledged humanitarian catastrophe.
These actions of Azerbaijan constitute a flagrant violation not only of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020 but also of international humanitarian law and are in direct breach of the Orders issued by the International Court of Justice on 22 February and 6 July 2023, according to which Azerbaijan should “take all measures to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.”
The deliberate creation of unbearable life conditions for the population is nothing but an act of mass atrocity targeting the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh and forcing them to leave their homes and homeland. Such an infliction of collective punishment upon the people of Nagorno-Karabakh constitutes an existential threat to them should they be left alone vis-a-vis the Azerbaijani aggressive policy.
Under current circumstances, the Government of Armenia requests the intervention of the UN Security Council as a principal body of safeguarding global security and preventing mass atrocities including war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide.
With reference to my letter dated 13 September 2022 addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2022/688), and in follow up to the meeting of the Security Council held on 20 December 2022, I would like to request that an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council be convened based on Article 35 (1) of the UN Charter.
I also ask that the delegation of Armenia be allowed to participate in the Council’s meeting in accordance with the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter and pursuant to rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council.
Please, accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”