An open discussion on “The protection of the civilian population in armed conflicts” was held at the UN Security Council of February 12. The meeting featured speeches by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the ICRC Director for International Law and Cooperation, representatives of a number of countries.
Speaking at the meeting, Armenia’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Ambassador Karen Nazaryan expressed his concern with the deteriorating situation in Syria. He condemned all kinds of violence and terrorist actions against the civilian population, expressing his deep concern connected with the condition of the Syrian Armenian community. He noted that Armenia continues to accept refugees from Syria, who are seriously worried about the violence in their country.
Referring to the statements of the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister preceding the discussion, Karen Nazaryan declared that Baku’s practice of distortion of facts was not a surprise to him. He said it’s high time to substitute this rhetoric and empty accusations with constructive steps, which will create a favorable atmosphere for the peaceful settlement of the issue. Ambassador Nazaryan recalled the interview of the then President of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutalibov, in which the latter was accusing the opposition of organizing a massacre of their own people for the purpose of seizing power.
The Ambassador continued that Azerbaijan should punish the perpetrators of the Khojalu massacre, as well as the violence against Armenians in different cities of Azerbaijan at the end of 1980s and the beginning of 1990s.
“Exactly 25 years ago the Azerbaijani authorities organized massacres of the Armenians of Sumgayit in response to the peaceful demand of the people of Artsakh for self-determination. Peaceful Armenians were attacked simply for their ethnicity. Later mass killing of Armenians was organized in the cities of Baku, Kirovabad and others, resulting in ethnic cleansing and deportation of the Armenian population,” Karen Nazaryan said.
The Ambassador reminded that the atrocities were followed by military actions unleashed by Azerbaijan aimed at solving the Karabakh issue by force.
Karen Nazaryan once again called the attention of the Security Council to the fact that on many occasions the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have urged the parties to the conflict to implement confidence-building measures, offering to withdraw the snipers from the line of contact and create mechanisms of investigation of border incidents.
Karen Nazaryan reiterated Armenia’s commitment to the peaceful process, noting that issues should be solved exceptionally in a peaceful way on the basis of the principles of international law.