The annual International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations kicked off in Yerevan today. The Forum has brought together the international peacekeeping community from across the globe, including policymakers, practitioners and experts from different sectors.
The Challenges Forum is a global network of partners representing 47 peace operations organizations and departments from 22 countries, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Councul.
Addressing the forum, Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan said “Armenia has not only heard about the cost of peace, it knows what needs to be paid for it.”
The Defense Minister said Armenia has always been a proponent of peace and is guided by the same principles as it participates in NATO and UN-led peacekeeping operation.
“Also, Armenia expands its capacities within the framework of the CSTO through military exercises, the latest of which was held last week. Armenia has passed a long way in the field of peacekeeping and gained considerable experience,” the Defense Minister said.
Buy hosting the Challenges Forum, Armenia yet again demonstrates its commitment to contribute to international efforts aimed at establishment and reinforcement of peace, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said.
The Minister said it’s possible to reach lasting peace through political solutions, not by force. “The decisions should be adopted with the participation of all parties to the conflict. Political solutions should decide and guide the format of peacekeeping operations and the possible deployment of peacekeepers.”
In this context Minister Nalbandian referred to the Karabakh conflict. “As the Minsk group is the format for the resolution of the conflict, all international efforts targeted at the settlement of the conflict should fit into this framework and its approaches. The Minsk Group Co-Chairs have declared on different occasions that the international security guarantees, including peacekeeping operations, are among the founding components of settlement of the Karabakh issue. The reinforcement of this mission can be beneficial from the point of view of reinforcement of stability.”
Minister Nalbandian added that preference should be given to the mediating efforts and prevention of conflict. He noted that the international mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship envisages not only mediating efforts, but also practical mechanisms of conflict prevention. “The implementation of the trust-building and security mechanisms proposed by the mediators, particularly the mechanism of investigation of border incidents and the ceasefire violations can serve as a preventing mechanism,” Edward Nalbandian said, reminding that the Minsk Group Co-Chairs last made the proposal on September 28.
According to Minister Nalbandian, mandates and missions should not be based on common approaches and clichés. “They should rather be worked out to contribute to the implementation of political decisions. It’s necessary to develop individual approaches for every single situation,” Minister Nalbandian said.