On May 23-24, the delegation of Armenia headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister Ashot Hovakimian participated in the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul. The UN organized summit, aimed to set a forward-looking agenda for humanitarian action to address current humanitarian challenges, was the first of its kind.
The Deputy Foreign Minister delivered a speech at the plenary session of the summit in which he particularly said:
“The abhorrent barbarity committed recently by the armed forces of Azerbaijan, including intentional and indiscriminate targeting of the peaceful population, especially children, women, and the elderly, as well as civilian objects, including schools and kindergartens, killings, beheadings, torture and mutilation of bodies is incompatible with the elementary norms of a civilized world. It is a product of a long standing policy of racism, intolerance and incitement to hatred against Armenians, condoned and directly executed by the authorities of Azerbaijan. The grave and systematic violations of international humanitarian law committed by Azerbaijan and the glorification at the highest political level of persons directly involved in the atrocities constitute a crime against humanity and a war crime.”
Touching upon the remarks of the president of Azerbaijan, made during the summit the day before, Ashot Hovakimyan emphasized that “Azerbaijani president, who bears personal responsibility in initiating the aggression and glorifying the terrorists and ISIL-style brutalities’ perpetrators, yesterday used this august body to disseminate fabricated allegations against Armenians. None of those lies have any connection with reality. Armenia certainly has no plans of creating a nuclear bomb, and Armenian forces have never used chemical weapons. Since the President of Azerbaijan enjoys quoting former Armenian officials, he could have surely referred to one of his predecessors, who claimed the responsibility of the then Azerbaijani political leadership for killing of their own people in Khojalu.”
Deputy Foreign Minister also touched upon the issue of Syrian refugees, who arrived to Armenia and the government’s efforts in providing them shelter. He also attached importance to the assistance, provided to refugees and displaced people by the international community, emphasizing that the values of dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms, must be guaranteed and must not be dependent on the status of the territory where peoples live.
The Armenian delegation participated in the parallel round-table discussions, dedicated to the issues of conflict prevention, assistance to refugees and displaced persons. Deputy Foreign Minister also took part in the event organized by the MFA of Lichtenstein and dedicated to the genocides prevention.