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President Aliyev at the UNGA: the best platform to draw world community's attention to the Armenian aggression and barbarism

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Baku, 22 September 2017 – Newtimes.az

The 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) was convened at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, 12 September 2017. The General Debate was open on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, with a focus on the theme, ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’. The event will take place until to 25 September.

As the annual General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly is the occasion for world leaders to gather at UN Headquarters to discuss global issues, several countries were represented at highest level.

Background of Azerbaijan-UN cooperation

Azerbaijan as UN active member state was represented by the President of the Republic.

Indeed, on March 2, 1992 the Republic of Azerbaijan was admitted to the United Nations. The United Nations established its presence in Azerbaijan in November 1992. Currently The UN family in Azerbaijan has 18 UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies, both resident and non-resident.

Since joining the United Nations, Azerbaijan has consistently demonstrated its strong commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, representing indispensable foundations for maintaining international peace and security, and securing justice and human rights. Azerbaijan joined 172 UN Conventions promoting a wide spectrum of issues.

Committed to the UN principles, Azerbaijan hosted several United Nations high-profile events which aimed to promote a wide range of development issues. Among them are 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, World’s Religious Leaders Forum, 4 times international forum on Intercultural Dialogue, 5 times Baku International Humanitarian Forum and other important events.

For its contribution to global peace and security and its globally gained respect, Azerbaijan was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in October 2011 for a two-year term (2012-2013) by 155 member states. During this time, Azerbaijan contributed to finding solutions to a multitude of interconnected global problems and their political, military, humanitarian, and civil aspects in a more comprehensive manner.

Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict at the UN platform

But Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict was for Azerbaijan one of the main issue at the UN. Indeed, from the very first day Azerbaijan used the platform of the United Nations to draw attention to the conflict, to provide the international community with true and comprehensive information in order to shape an objective public opinion, to use the United Nations potential for peaceful settlement of the conflict. Due to the continuing Armenian aggression, Azerbaijan in accordance with Article 39 of the UN Charter called for the UNGA and the UNSC President to stop the aggression, to prevent the violation of the norms of international law and the UN Chapter and to settle the conflict by peaceful, political means.

During 1992-1993 the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) and made six statements of the UNSC President on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. All documents confirm the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, condemn the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjacent territories, demand the immediate cease-fire, suspension of hostilities and withdrawal of all occupying forces from the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

At the 85th plenary meeting in 1993, expressing great concern on the humanitarian situation in Azerbaijan and the number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP) in Azerbaijan, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution "Emergency international assistance to refugees and displaced persons in Azerbaijan" (A/RES/48/114).

During the period of 1992 to 1996 the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council President made several statements on the conflict confirming the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan and supporting the OSCE Minsk Group’s efforts towards its peaceful settlement.

In its resolution "Cooperation between United Nations and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)", the UN General Assembly reaffirmed territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

At the 49th UN General Assembly session held in September 1994 and at the special meeting dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the UN in October 1995, the National Leader of Azerbaijan Haydar Aliyev called for the world community to increase international efforts to put an end to the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan. In September 2000, at the UN Millennium Summit, once more he voiced the position of Azerbaijan on the resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

At the 59th session of UNGA in September 21, 2004, President Ilham Aliyev stated with regret that the provisions of four UNSC resolutions had not still been implemented and suggested to develop its working mechanism.

On October 29, 2004 at a meeting of the UN General Assembly the resolution on "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan" was put on the agenda at the initiative of the delegation of Azerbaijan and was adopted. The resolution was reaffirmed at the UNGA meeting on September 7, 2006, at the 60th session of the 98th plenary meeting of the UNGA, held on March 14, 2008 and at the 86th session of the 62nd plenary meeting of the UNGA. The resolution condemns the resettlement of Armenians to the occupied territories, the setting fires there, calls to implement four resolutions of the Security Council and to withdraw the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The resolution confirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and demands to return the refugees to their homelands.

Shortly after Azerbaijan’s election to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member, President Ilham Aliyev declared that his nation’s priorities would be to promote justice and the supremacy of international law enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Over the two years, Azerbaijan submitted a number of reports on various aspects of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which were circulated as documents of the General Assembly and the Security Council. Among them are the regular reports on ceasfire violations by the armed forces of Armenia and illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the report on the international legal rights of the Azerbaijani internally displaced persons and the Republic of Armenia’s responsibility (see A/66/787-S/2012/289), a memorandum entitled "The crime in Khojaly: perpetrators, qualification and responsibility under international law” (see A/67/753-S/2013/106) and a research on non-compliance by the Republic of Armenia with Security Council resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993) (see A/67/875-S/2013/313).

Azerbaijan has consistently stressed the importance of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and the need to implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and put an end to impunity for the most serious international crimes committed during the conflict.

The Republic of Azerbaijan is also a co-sponsor of several resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and other UN bodies. Thus, the Delegation of Azerbaijan initiated the resolution on the "missing persons" at the 58-60th sessions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

As there are about 1 million refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan, since 1993 the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) closely work to alleviate the conditions of refugees and IDPs.

Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at UNGA-72

Speaking at the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, President Ilham Aliyev devoted also the important part of his speech to Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Declaring that for more than 25 years Armenia occupies 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 other regions of the country, he precised that Armenia conducted the policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis in Armenia, in Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 other regions of Azerbaijan at the end of which more than one million of Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons.

Underlining that Armenia committed genocide against Azerbaijanis in Khojaly in 1992, he added that one of those war criminals who committed that terrible crime against humanity is current Armenian President.

Accentuating that leading international organizations adopted resolutions demanding withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territory of Azerbaijan, President Aliyev concluded that the international sanctions must be imposed on Armenia. So, accusing the non-implementation of the UNSC Resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict he pointed out the importance of the creation of the mechanism of implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council.

President Aliyev, referring to the current President of Armenia, asked also "how can this corrupt, failed state ruled by despotic, medieval regime afford to violate international law for so many years and ignore the resolutions of UN Security Council and statements of the leading countries of the world”. For him, the answer is double standards, because there is no international pressure on aggressor, no international sanctions imposed on Armenian dictatorship. So, this policy must be stopped.

Indicating that such policy towards aggressor is not only demonstration of injustice, but also it creates an illusion that Armenian dictatorship can continue their policy of terror, President Aliyev cited that last April Armenia committed another war crime on the line of contact attacking Azerbaijani cities and villages, killing 6 Azerbaijani civilians and wounding 26 civilians.

President Aliyev underlined also that losing on the battlefield Armenia uses its mean policy of attacking our cities and villages. He illustrated that on July 4, 2017 a targeted attack on Alkhanli village in Fuzuli district by Armenia killed 2 civilians – 2 years old Zahra Guliyeva and her grandmother.

Conclusion

So, for the President of Azerbaijan it is to the international community to stop Armenian fascism and terror. Even if Azerbaijan is committed to peaceful resolution of the conflict, it will defend its citizens in line with UN charter if Armenian military provocations continue and if necessary will punish once again the aggressor as it was done in April, 2016. In brief, Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved on the basis of international law, relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be completely restored. This is the only way to resolve this conflict.

Dr. Turab Gurbanov

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