The delegation headed by Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ashot Hovakimyan participated in the 67th session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees held in Geneva October 3-7.
Opening remarks by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon were followed by UNHCR Filippo Grandi’s speech.
Referring to the global challenges related to refugees, Ashot Hovakimyan pledged Armenia’s willingness to continue the effective cooperation with the UNHCR Office to address the needs of displaced people and support the refugees and asylum seekers.
The Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister referred to the issue of Armenian refugees, who have been forced to leave their homes in Azerbaijan because of the latter’s policy of ethnic cleansing. He presented the Azerbaijani military aggression against Nagorno Karabakh unleashed in April this year, which was accompanied by harsh violations of international humanitarian law.
Ashot Hovakimyan noted that Armenia has provided refuge to more than 20 thousand Syrian refugees, being the third country in Europe with the number of Syrian refugees hosted.
In response to Armenia’s delegate’s speech, High Commissioner Filippo Grandi noted that the UNHCR Office will maintain support for the solution of problems displaced people face. He attached importance to the soonest resolution of the Karabakh conflict and expressed his support to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ efforts.