IYDU Board Meeting adopts resolution on Nagorno Karabakh

IYDU Board Meeting adopts resolution on Nagorno Karabakh
# 14 April 2012 09:28 (UTC +04:00)
The European Azerbaijan Society told APA that the resolution describes the chronology of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and put forward proposals for the solution to the conflict.

The resolutions reads: “The collapse of the Soviet Union from the end of the 1980s led to insecurities, friction and violence which, in the South Caucasus led to refugees fleeing both Armenia and Azerbaijan. While all Azerbaijanis were forced out of Armenia, the Armenian residents in the Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh claimed the region for themselves and were supported by troops who crossed the border and occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani regions. In a series of bloody battles all Azerbaijanis were driven out of regions comprising around 15-20% of Azerbaijan’s total land area. About 25,000 people lost their lives in the fighting and some one million lost their homes and became refugees.

While the fighting raged in 1993 the United Nations Security Council passed four resolutions, No. 822, 853, 874 and 884. Each resolution reaffirmed the inviolability of international borders, the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory and each one demanded the withdrawal of occupying forces. These resolutions were in accord with article 2 of the UN’s charter:

....All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state....

On 25 January 2005, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed resolution 1416, urging the two countries to comply with the UN Security Council resolutions:

....by refraining from any armed hostilities and by withdrawing military forces from any occupied territories.

On 20 May 2010 the European Parliament passed a resolution on a strategy for the South Caucasus in which it:

....demands, in this regard, the withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan...

The precondition stated in all six resolutions has been ignored and the regions remain under occupation. Under international law Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding regions are part of the Republic of Azerbaijan; the international community has condemned the attempted secession as clearly illegitimate.

The status quo is described as a frozen conflict and the OSCE’s Minsk Group has been mediating for 20 years. In fact there are regular exchanges of fire across the front line, resulting in the deaths of soldiers on both sides and of civilians;
a nine year old Azerbaijani boy was killed by sniper fire from the occupied area in March 2011. The efforts of the Minsk group have so far failed to shift the status quo and as the possibility of peaceful advance has appeared increasingly remote, both sides have increased military expenditure.

While the occupied areas suffered massive destruction, from which they show few signs of recovering, the prevailing tension obstructs economic and social progress. The Caspian Sea is a vital source of energy supplies, especially important to a Europe seeking to ensure energy security by diversifying its sources of oil and gas. Clearly any outbreak of hostilities in the area would at the very least threaten the energy supplies from Azerbaijan currently under negotiation.

20 years is already too long for a state of conflict to deny the right of a generation to return to its homes, to obstruct economic advance and prosperity and to frustrate the application of international law. It is high time to renew and reinvigorate the strategy to resolve this conflict. In order to restore the human rights of up to one million refugees, realize the region’s full economic potential and reassert international law:

1. We urge the two sides to the conflict to adopt a peaceful and
constructive approach towards breaking the deadlock in negotiations, to advance incrementally beyond the status quo and to promote trust and cooperation between their peoples.

2. We urge the UN, EU and Council of Europe to step up their efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven neighbouring regions in accordance with international law and to implement their passed resolutions.

3. We urge the EU to take a direct role in the resolution of the conflict by replacing France in the Minsk Group and to encourage early stage by stage movement beyond the status quo. The EU should also provide opportunities within the Eastern Partnership such as EuroNest for the development of political and economic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan;

4. We urge the UN Security Council to review the position without delay and to show leadership in the upholding of international law”.
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Nagorno Garabagh