To the Honorable Members of the UN Security Council
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Armenian National Platform Calls the UN Security Council to Stop the Genocide of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, to Recognize it as a Sub-Mandate Territory of the United Nations and to Send International Peacemaking Forces
August 16, 2023, Yerevan
For eight months, the Azerbaijani authorities have blocked the Lachin corridor – the only access to Artsakh, the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This gross violation of the Statement signed by the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 9, 2020, with Russian mediation, not only calls into serious question the Azerbaijani authorities’ commitment to peace and stability in the region, but also demonstrates a clear intention to commit a genocide of the 120,000-strong Armenian population. This illegal blockade also once again showed the inability or unwillingness of Russia through its “peacekeepers” to fulfill its obligations to ensure the unhindered passage of passengers and cargo along the Lachin corridor. While the EU observers contribute to the establishment of peace in the region by their presence on the border of Armenia, the autocratic regimes of Baku and Moscow cooperate with each other to organize pressure on the Armenian people, to stifle their freedom and democratic choice both in Armenia and in Artsakh.
For 240 days 120,000 inhabitants of the region have been deprived of electricity and gas, jobs and livelihoods, a significant part of food and essential goods. And since June 15, for two months now, the dictatorial regime of Aliyev, in close cooperation with the Russian so-called peacekeeping troops, and with the political support of the Kremlin, has completely blocked Artsakh! As a result, in the absence of essential food and nutrients, approximately 2,000 pregnant women, 30,000 children, 20,000 older persons and 9,000 persons with disabilities are struggling in conditions of malnourishment. The threat of famine and humanitarian catastrophe is becoming more real day by day, and due to the lack of medicines and quality treatment, the number of deaths has increased. In an interview given to Euronews, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev openly stated that either the Armenians of Artsakh must submit to his regime, or share the fate of those hundreds of Azerbaijani oppositionists who fled the country due to political persecution by the regime.
Because of continuing blockade, the President of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) sent an urgent appeal to the international community, calling for immediate action to prevent the genocide of the people of Artsakh and to end the blockade.
Still in December 2022, in their Statement, the Co-Chairs of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Steering Committee appealed to the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the EU, and among other urgings, calling to ensure the unblocking of the Lachin Corridor.
PACE adopted a resolution on the same issue, calling President Aliyev to open the Lachin corridor.
World leaders, including the President of the European Council, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, President of France, US Secretary of State have all called for the corridor to be opened.
Many international organisations, media (such as of Washington Post, CNN, Associated Press, Forbes, CBC, Yahoo, etc.), governments, and international human rights advocates are united in the assessment of the serious humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh in a call to lift Lachin Corridor blockade.
Prominent genocide scholars have submitted an open letter to the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and Member States of the UN Security Council regarding the potential for genocide in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and professor of Harvard and Yale universities, in his Expert opinion, concluded, that «There is an ongoing Genocide against 120,000 Armenians living in Nagorno- Karabakh, also known as Artsakh».
In fact, the authorities of Azerbaijan, with the silent support of the Kremlin, which in its turn is carrying out another genocide of Ukrainians these days, are preparing to complete the new Holodomor, but already in the 21st century, in Nagorno-Karabakh!
During the Armenian Genocide organized by the leadership of Ottoman, then Kemal Turkey and Musafat Azerbaijan in 1897–1920, and then 32 years ago, Artsakh mostly managed to prevent the attempt to annihilate itself thanks to armed resistance. It is the duty of the world community to prevent the destruction of the Armenian population of this region by the Aliyev regime, one of the worst anti-democratic regimes in the world.
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. But achieving permission for a few trucks with humanitarian cargo to pass through the Lachin corridor, or even opening the corridor, may be only the first, but far from sufficient, step to prevent genocide and reach long-term peace in the region.
Therefore we call to the members of the UN Security Council:
- Recognize the Lachin corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh as a UN mandated territory, and by doing so prevent the Genocide of Armenians in that region; The Aliyev dictatorship should not have any power over the region until a full and comprehensive settlement of the conflict through peaceful negotiations between the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan on the basis of international law, the UN Charter, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, in the framework of the international format and mechanism, and in the presence of international mediators;
- Deploy UN peacemaking forces to Nagorno Karabakh and Lachin Corridor;
- Request the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to deploy a fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh to assess the situation on the ground;
- Condemn Azerbaijan’s policy of ethnic hatred against Armenians reflected in ICJ order from December 2021, which puts at risk any efforts aimed at the establishment of peace and security in the region;
- Ensure access of media representatives as well as missions of independent human rights organizations to the region to examine the situation and provide the international audience with objective information about the situation.
The international community must resolutely stop the attempts of dictators to solve political problems through the principles of force, domination, destruction and genocide inherited from the old world. In today’s world, oil and gas cannot cost more than people’s lives and their rights!
EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum’s
Armenian National Platform