UN yet to meet its obligations vis-à-vis the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian Ambassador says

The United Nations, its respective bodies and structures have yet to meet their obligations vis-à-vis the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mher Margaryan said at the Side Event to the 75th Anniversary of the Genocide Convention, entitled “The Role of Religious Communities in Upholding and Implementing the Genocide.”

“The International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, which was established upon Armenia’s initiative, has evolved into a platform of dialogue and cooperation to foster prevention of atrocity crimes,” Mher Margaryan said.

“The United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect has a key role to play in advancing international efforts and prevention mechanisms through effective monitoring of grave human rights violations and assessing the risks of potential atrocities,” he added.

The Ambassador stressed that it is imperative to reflect and address the situations when violations are committed by perpetrators that are members of the United Nations.

“Just recently, on 19 September, large-scale offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh took lives of hundreds of people, including children, and resulted in mass forced displacement of the entire population. It was preceded by humanitarian crisis that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh had been undergoing since the blockade of the Lachin Corridor in December 2022, an action that has been identified by the first Prosecutor of International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo as “the archetype of genocide through the imposition of conditions of life designed to bring about a group’s destruction”,” Mher Margaryan noted.

“The premeditated and well-planned aggression against a population under blockade, which drove the entire population into forced displacement, is an explicit case of an ethnic cleansing, perpetrated under the UN’s watch. The entire ethnic Armenian population were driven out of their ancestral land, leaving behind their homes, their schools, their churches, their places of worship, the graveyards of their loved ones, thousands of monuments and artefacts of the vast Armenian cultural and religious heritage,” he said.

“We appreciate that on 22 September 2023 the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide issued a statement stressing that “Military action can only contribute to escalate what is already a tense situation and to put the civilian population in the area at risk of violence, including risk of genocide and related atrocity crimes”,” the Ambassador said.

“The international community can no longer look the other way when faced with the clearly detectable signs of genocide, when grave and systematic human rights violations are routinely perpetrated. The United Nations, its respective bodies and structures have yet to meet their obligations vis-à-vis the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Mher Margaryan concluded.

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