Jun 242011
 

Dmitry Medvedev met with President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

A joint statement was issued following the meeting.

The statement notes that the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation reviewed the progress in agreement on the draft of the Basic Principles for Nagorno Karabakh settlement, in accordance with their instructions.

The Presidents acknowledged that common understanding had been reached on a number of issues whose resolution will promote the conditions for approval of the Basic Principles.

The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan expressed their gratitude to the leaders of Russia, the US and France as co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group for their permanent attention to the Nagorno Karabakh settlement issue and gave a high assessment of the personal efforts of the President of the Russian Federation in helping achieve the agreements.


Source: President of Russia

Mar 312011
 

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) was established by the Council of Europe. It is an independent human rights monitoring body specialised in questions relating to racism and intolerance. It is composed of independent and impartial members, who are appointed on the basis of their moral authority and recognised expertise in dealing with racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance.

In the framework of its statutory activities, ECRI conducts country-by-country monitoring work, which analyses the situation in each of the member States regarding racism and intolerance and draws up suggestions and proposals for dealing with the problems identified.

Here is what the 2011 ERCI report on Azerbaijan says about discrimination against persons of Armenian origin:

98. As mentioned in other parts of this report, persons of Armenian origin are at risk of being discriminated against in their daily lives. Certain people born of mixed Armenian-Azerbaijani marriages choose to use the name of their Azerbaijani parent so as to avoid problems in their contacts with officialdom; others who did not immediately apply for Azerbaijani identity documents when the former Soviet passports were done away with today encounter difficulties in obtaining identity papers. These problems and the prejudice reigning within society with regard to Armenians also cause serious difficulties of access to social rights.

99. ECRI is still deeply concerned about the fact that the constant negative official and media discourse concerning the Republic of Armenia helps to sustain a negative climate of opinion regarding people of Armenian origin coming under the Azerbaijani authorities’ jurisdiction. This prejudice is so ingrained that describing someone as an Armenian in the media is considered by some people – including by certain Armenians themselves – to qualify as an insult that justifies initiating judicial proceedings against the persons making such statements. ECRI underlines the seriousness of this situation, where it seems that persons belonging to the group discriminated against in this way may themselves have interiorised this discriminatory attitude.

100. ECRI is moreover puzzled by the contradictory information it has received as to the number of persons of Armenian origin currently living in Azerbaijan. On the basis of the previous census, 120 700 Armenians were living in Azerbaijan in 1999. The authorities have indicated that the number of Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh or the areas affected by the conflict over it could be estimated at about 120 000, in line with the results of the last census carried out in the region during the Soviet era. Outside those areas, 700 people declared themselves as being of Armenian origin. In view of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the areas affected by the conflict over it, it was again not possible to count the real number of Armenians living in this part of the country during the census carried out in 2009; the estimated figure of 120 000 will accordingly be deemed still current for these areas and only the figure of 700, corresponding to the number of persons actually counted in the remainder of Azerbaijani territory, is likely to change. ECRI points out that these explanations, albeit clear, differ strikingly from the figure of 30 000 Armenians living in the parts of Azerbaijan under the Azerbaijani authorities’ effective control, which is regularly cited by the authorities. ECRI considers that questions can be raised as to the reasons why less than 3% of those concerned are prepared officially to declare themselves as belonging to this group. Thought should be given, inter alia, to the measures that might be taken to eliminate the prejudices and stereotyping existing within the majority population that can give rise to discriminatory attitudes towards persons of Armenian origin.

101. ECRI refers to the recommendations made in other parts of this report concerning the need to adopt an appropriate response to all cases of discrimination and hate speech against Armenians, and to its recommendations concerning the application of the relevant legal provisions. It considers that the Azerbaijani authorities should actively contribute to generating a climate where all persons of Armenian origin living in Azerbaijan can declare their ethnic origin without fear.


File: 2011 ERCI Report on Azerbaijan
Source: Publications, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Mar 052011
 

Upon the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, the Presidents of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan met on March 5, 2011 in Sochi and discussed in detail the process and the prospects of the NK conflict resolution.

After the discussions on the practical implementation of the trilateral Declaration adopted on October 27, 2010 in Astrakhan, in addition to the steps specified in the above mentioned Declaration, the Presidents agreed to take the following confidence building measures:

1. To conclude in the shortest possible period of time the exchange of the prisoners of war,

2. To strive to solve all contentious issues through peaceful means and to conduct along the cease-fire line an investigation with the participation of the parties under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and with the assistance of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office regarding probable incidents.

The Presidents stressed the importance of their regular meetings on the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and agreed to continue them in the present format and further to the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group.


Original source: President of Russia [Rus]
Armenian source: President of Armenia
Azerbaijani source: President of Azerbaijan

Oct 272010
 

Dmitry Medvedev, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev discussed future possibilities for reaching a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

At the talks the parties approved a joint statement. The document, which is humanitarian in purpose, has great importance for resolving the conflict in view of the various difficulties still apparent today in Azerbaijani-Armenian relations over the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Dmitry Medvedev said and added that the statement aims to bolster the ceasefire regime and strengthen confidence-building measures.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents agreed that their first step would be an immediate exchange of prisoners of war and the return of the bodies of those killed. This would be organised with the help of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Answering journalists’ questions after the meeting, Mr Medvedev noted that the general principles for settling the Nagorno-Karabakh problem could be drafted in time for the OSCE summit that will take place on December 1-2, 2010 in Astana.

Today’s trilateral meeting was the seventh so far and the third this year.


Source: President of Russia

Dec 052008
 

We welcome the constructive and positive momentum in the peace process for the political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict established after the two meetings of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2008, in Saint Petersburg on June 6, and especially in Moscow on November 2.

The Moscow Declaration signed by the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia opened a promising phase in the process of settling the conflict. We strongly encourage the sides in their aspiration to identify efforts in the negotiation process, in accordance with the provisions of the Moscow Declaration and in co-ordination with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, to further elaborate the Basic Principles proposed in Madrid on November 29, 2007, and then begin drafting a comprehensive Peace Agreement. We highly appreciate their intention to develop confidence building measures and to consolidate the ceasefire.


Source: OSCE website [MC.DOC/1/08]
File: OSCE Ministerial Statement, Helsinki 05 Dec 2008

Dec 042008
 

We, the Foreign Ministers and Deputy Minister of the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chair countries – France, Russia, and the United States – call on the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to build on the positive momentum established during the meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow on November 2, 2008.

The Moscow declaration signed that same day opened a new and promising phase in our shared endeavor to expand peace in the South Caucasus. In that declaration, the Presidents reaffirm their commitment to advancing a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the framework of the Basic Principles developed by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in collaboration with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of their proposals advanced last year in Madrid.

We call on the parties to work with the Co-Chairs to finalize the Basic Principles in the coming months, and then begin drafting a comprehensive peace settlement as outlined by those agreed principles. In keeping with the Moscow Declaration, we call on the parties to work with the Co-Chairs to develop confidence-building measures, beginning with pulling back snipers from the Line of Contact to save lives of innocent civilians and soldiers as our mediators already proposed to the sides at the highest level during the last visit mid-November. It is urgent for the parties to work with each other, the Co-Chairs, and the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office to stabilize the ceasefire through this and other measures. We reiterate our firm view that there is no military solution to the conflict and call on the parties to recommit to a peaceful resolution.


Source: OSCE website [CIO.GAL/184/08]
File: Joint MG Statement, Helsinki 04 Dec 2008

Nov 022008
 

The Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation, meeting on November 2, 2008, in Moscow, at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation,

Having held substantive discussions in a constructive spirit on the state and prospects for political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through a continuation of direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia through the mediation of Russia, the USA and France as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,

  1. Declare that they will facilitate improvement of the situation in the South Caucasus and establish stability and security in the region through political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles of international law and the decisions and documents approved within this framework, thus creating favourable conditions for economic growth and all-round cooperation in the region.
  2. Affirm the importance of having the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group continue their mediation efforts, including based on the outcome of the meeting between the parties in Madrid on November 29, 2007, and subsequent discussions on further steps to agree on the basic principles for political settlement.
  3. Agree that peace settlement should be accompanied by legally binding guarantees for every aspect and stage of the settlement process.
  4. Note that the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to continue work, including through further contacts at the highest level, on reaching a political settlement to the conflict and have instructed the heads of their respective foreign ministries to work together with the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to activate the negotiation process.
  5. Consider it important to encourage the establishment of conditions for carrying out confidence-building measures in the context of work on a peace settlement.

Source: Official website of the President of Russia [unofficial translation]
Original source: Official website of the President of Russia [in Russian]
Armenian source: President of Armenia
Azerbaijani source: President of Azerbaijan

Mar 142008
 

Ms. Štiglic (Slovenia): The European Union recognizes the right of Member States to bring issues to the attention of the General Assembly for consideration, subject to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the rules and procedures of the General Assembly.

However, the European Union believes that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group should retain the lead in settling the Nagorny Karabakh conflict. The EU fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group towards a peaceful, just and lasting settlement. The EU reiterates its support for all the principles, without exception, established within the Minsk Group and values the views of the Group’s Co-Chairs.

The settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh issue is an important element of the European Neighbourhood Policy of the European Union and features prominently in the related action plans. In that context, we remain ready to support all steps which contribute to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The European Union calls on the parties concerned to avoid any actions that could lead to heightened tensions and undermine the ongoing mediation efforts.

 

Mr. Wolff (United States of America): The political-level representatives of France, the Russian Federation and the United States, as Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group dealing with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, jointly proposed a set of basic
principles for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict to the sides in November 2007 on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid. Those basic principles are founded on the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, including those related to refraining from the threat or use of force, the territorial integrity of States and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples. The proposal transmitted to the sides in Madrid comprises a balanced package of principles that are currently under negotiation. The sides have agreed that no single element is agreed until all elements are agreed by the parties.

Unfortunately, the draft resolution before us today selectively propagates only certain of those principles, to the exclusion of others, without considering the Co-Chairs’ proposal in its balanced entirety. Because of this selective approach, the three OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries must oppose this unilateral draft resolution. They reiterate that a peaceful, equitable and lasting settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict will require unavoidable compromises among the parties that reflect the principles of territorial integrity, non-use of force and equal rights of peoples, as well as other principles of international law.

While the three Minsk Group Co-Chair countries will vote against this unilateral draft resolution, which threatens to undermine the peace process, they reaffirm their support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and thus do not recognize the independence of Nagorny Karabakh. At a time when serious clashes with loss of life have occurred along the line of contact, both sides must refrain from unilateral and maximalist actions either at the negotiating table or in the field.

 

Mr. Ripert (France) (spoke in French): As just stated by the representative of the United States of America on behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, France, along with the other two Co-Chairs, will vote against the draft resolution that has been unilaterally presented by Azerbaijan. Our country would reaffirm at the same time our full support for the Common Position of the European Union on the question of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, as presented by Slovenia.

 

Voting results: 39 in favour to 7 against, 100 abstentions:

In favour: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.
Against: Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu.

Abstain: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia.

Absent: Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Syria, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.


Source: UN Official Records – A/62/PV.86

File: UN Official Records – A/62/PV.86

Dec 061994
 

Intensification of CSCE action in relation to
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

1. Deploring the continuation of the conflict and the human tragedy involved, the participating States welcomed the confirmation by the parties to the conflict of the cease-fire agreed on 12 May 1994 through the mediation of the Russian Federation in co-operation with the CSCE Minsk Group. They confirmed their commitment to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and welcomed the political support given by the Security Council to the CSCE’s efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict. To this end they called on the parties to the conflict to enter into intensified substantive talks, including direct contacts. In this context, they pledged to redouble the efforts and assistance by the CSCE. They strongly endorsed the mediation efforts of the CSCE Minsk Group and expressed appreciation for the crucial contribution of the Russian Federation and the efforts by other individual members of the Minsk Group. They agreed to harmonise these into a single co-ordinated effort within the framework of the CSCE.

2. To this end, they have directed the Chairman-in-Office, in consultation with the participating States and acting as soon as possible, to name co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to ensure a common and agreed basis for negotiations and to realise full co-ordination in all mediation and negotiation activities. The co-chairmen, guided in all of their negotiating efforts by CSCE principles and an agreed mandate, will jointly chair meetings of the Minsk Group and jointly report to the Chairman-in-Office. They will regularly brief the Permanent Council on the progress of their work.

3. As a first step in this effort, they directed the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to take immediate steps to promote, with the support and co-operation of the Russian Federation and other individual members of the Minsk Group, the continuation of the existing cease-fire and, drawing upon the progress already achieved in previous mediation activities, to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict, the implementation of which will eliminate major consequences of the conflict for all parties and permit the convening of the Minsk Conference. They further requested the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to continue working with the parties towards further implementation of confidence-building measures, particularly in the humanitarian field. They underlined the need for participating States to take action, both individually and within relevant international organisations, to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of the region with special emphasis on alleviating the plight of refugees.

4. They agreed that, in line with the view of the parties to the conflict, the conclusion of the agreement mentioned above would also make it possible to deploy multinational peacekeeping forces as an essential element for the implementation of the agreement itself. They declared their political will to provide, with an appropriate resolution from the United Nations Security Council, a multinational CSCE peacekeeping force following agreement among the parties for cessation of the armed conflict. They requested the Chairman-in-Office to develop as soon as possible a plan for the establishment, composition and operations of such a force, organised on the basis of Chapter III of the Helsinki Document 1992 and in a manner fully consistent with the Charter of the United Nations. To this end the Chairman-in-Office will be assisted by the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference and by the Minsk Group, and be supported by the Secretary General; after appropriate consultations he will also establish a high-level planning group in Vienna to make recommendations on, inter alia, the size and characteristics of the force, command and control, logistics, allocation of units and resources, rules of engagement and arrangements with contributing States. He will seek the support of the United Nations on the basis of the stated United Nations readiness to provide technical advice and expertise. He will also seek continuing political support from the United Nations Security Council for the possible deployment of a CSCE peacekeeping force.

5. On the basis of such preparatory work and the relevant provisions of Chapter III of the Helsinki Document 1992, and following agreement and a formal request by the parties to the Chairman-in-Office through the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference, the Permanent Council will take a decision on the establishment of the CSCE peacekeeping operation.


Source: OSCE Website

File: Intensification of CSCE action in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict