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Armenian envoy slams UN for failure to prevent ethnic cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh

Despite a multitude of clearly detectable early warning signs and calls for intervention, the United Nations fell short of addressing the egregious violations committed in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mher Margaryan said in an statement on the Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization.

“Not only does this failure constitute a breach of the fundamental principles, upon which this very Organization was established, but it also signifies, in no uncertain terms, a major departure from the internationally endorsed commitment of the Responsibility to Protect populations from atrocity crimes, including genocides and ethnic cleansings. As we address the annual report of the UN Secretary-General, we trust that, moving forward, the Organization will acknowledge the gravity of these violations and reflect on the failure to prevent them,” he said.

“The blockade and starvation of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, with the barbaric siege of its only transportation lifeline, which started in December 2022, and culminated in September 2023 with the use of deadly military action against innocent civilian population is one explicit example of pre-meditated ethnic cleansing, which was gradually perpetrated under the watch of international community. It has resulted in widespread forced displacement of the entire ethnic Armenian population, immense sufferings caused to the civilians, and, indeed, a most brazen and blatant violation of international law – including the very Charter of this Organization,” the Ambassador stated.

Margaryan reminded that in the period from 2021 to 2023, the International Court of Justice issued eight provisional measures against Azerbaijan, including the legally binding obligation to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions, as well as the obligation to ensure that persons who have been forced out of Nagorno-Karabakh after 19 September 2023 are able to return in a safe and unimpeded manner.

“Compliance with the decisions of the ICJ is fundamental in ensuring that justice can be served and that breaches of international law can be essentially prevented in the future, whereas failure to do so only serves the interests of those who seek to undermine the viability of international law and to challenge the integrity and credibility of the international legal system. The United Nations, through its respective actions and mandates, has a distinct responsibility to ensure that the rule of law prevails over violence and aggression, and that justice and accountability remain essential in guiding the work of the Organization. Armenia is committed to promoting accountability and fighting impunity, as demonstrated by our recent accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, effective since 1 February 2024,” the Armenian envoy said.

“As ever, Armenia remains steadfast in supporting efforts for strengthening the efficiency of the Organization, its resilience and integrity in the face of the current and evolving challenges,” Mher Mararyan concluded.

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