Azerbaijan yet to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law vis-à-vis Armenian POWs

Impunity for past atrocities can lead to the most serious violations, the ultimate manifestation of which are genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mher Margaryan said at the UN Security Council open debate on “Strengthening accountability and justice for serious violations of international law.”

“We are equally reminded that strengthening accountability and justice for such crimes is essential for the realization of the rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence,” he said.

“As a long-standing advocate of genocide prevention agenda, Armenia supports efforts towards advancing early warning capacities of the United Nations to monitor and respond to conditions with imminent risk of atrocities, which includes systematic policies of promulgating hate speech, incitement to violence on the basis of ethnicity or religion, as well as denial, justification or even glorification of atrocity crimes, in particular, when such incendiary acts are state led, conducted or cultivated at the highest political level,” the Ambassador stated.

“Time and again, Armenia alerted the international community about the dangerously mounting level of hate speech and racist rhetoric dominating the political discourse in Azerbaijan where state-led anti-Armenian policies – extensively reported and documented by international institutions – seek to dehumanize one particular nation, which come to manifest that genocidal ideology does not merely belong to the past,” he added.

He noted that the fact that a large-scale military aggression was unleashed amidst the unprecedented global pandemic in the fall of 2020 is a crime of global proportion in itself and should be evaluated and addressed as such. “attempt to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by use of force, caused thousands of deaths and devastation, putting the lives of tens of thousands of civilians under existential threat,” he said.

“Azerbaijan is yet to abide by its obligations under the international humanitarian law vis-à-vis the Armenian POWs and civilian hostages who continue to be held in captivity. It should commit, in good faith, to the preservation of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage and effectively address anti-Armenian rhetoric including at the level of public officials and institutions, in accordance with the provisions stemming from the Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” Mher Margaryan noted.  

As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice has a central role in ensuring justice and accountability and upholding the faith in international law.

Armenia remains strongly committed to strengthening accountability and justice agenda, which necessitates in-depth understanding of the patterns of past as well as recuring violations and a victim-centered approach, particularly in conflict situations.

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