Azerbaijan’s premeditated armed aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) unleashed in September 2020 comes as a dangerous precedent of violating the pre-eminent obligation to strictly adhere to the principles of non-use of force or threat of force and the pacific settlement of disputes by opting, instead, for instigation of violence, conflict, atrocity crimes and involving terrorist fighters, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mher Margaryan said, addressing the UNSC VTC, Arria Formula Meeting “Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defense.”
“A country, that over the years has been consistently rejecting the peace process and the proposals for the settlement of the conflict put forward by the mediators, has launched the biggest military escalation in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, with direct and unrestricted military support of another country – Turkey and involvement of thousands of foreign terrorist fighters and mercenaries from the Middle East. Given the nature and the scope of Azerbaijan’s violent conduct, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and widespread destruction in the midst of a global health crisis, it is clear that such actions have been aimed not at defense but at an intentional infliction of maximum casualties on the Armenian side,” the Ambassador said.
“Such actions, have, in fact, demonstrated that not only this country was not acting in self-defense, but also that it had no intention of complying with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. This was further evidenced by its failure to adhere in good faith to the trilateral statement on the establishment of ceasefire in the area of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which stipulates, among other provisions, for the release of all prisoners of war and other detained persons. To this date, this key provision remains unimplemented by Azerbaijan, despite the calls of the international community, including the UN human rights experts, who have appealed for the prompt release of all prisoners of war and other captives from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he added.
He emphasized the importance of the efficient utilization of the prevention toolbox of the United Nations and regional organizations for timely identifying of and adequately responding to the warning signs of gross violations of humanitarian law and human rights law, which if not addressed properly can lead to serious threats to the international peace and security.