Humanitarian Consequences of Nagorno Karabakh Conflict – Supplementary Item to the OSCE-PA

OSSE-PF Inför OSSE-PF:s sommarmöte den 2-6 juli i Birmingham, har Björn Söder författat ett förslag till en sk Supplementary Item. För att förslaget skall behandlas vid sommarmötet krävs att 20 parlamentariker från 5 olika länder stödjer det. Nu återstår arbete med att få stöd för att förslaget skall behandlas under mötet.


Humanitarian Consequences of Nagorno Karabakh Conflict

Principal Sponsor:  Mr Björn Söder (Sweden)

  1. Reaffirming full adherence to the UN Charter and to all OSCE norms, principles and commitments, starting from the Helsinki Final Act, and all other OSCE documents to which all participating States have agreed, and the responsibility to implement them fully and in good faith.
  2. Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  3. Stressing that the OSCE, as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, is the primary organization for the peaceful settlement of disputes within its region.
  4. Stressing the importance of the increased efforts to resolve existing conflicts in the OSCE area in a peaceful and negotiated manner, within agreed formats, fully respecting the norms and principles of international law enshrined in the United Nations Charter, as well as the Helsinki Final Act.
  5. Condemning in the strongest terms the escalation of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone in autumn 2020 and deploring the humanitarian consequences.
  6. Noting the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020 signed by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the President of the Russian Federation on the establishment of a complete ceasefire in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone.
  7. Recalling that on December 7, 2021 the Co-Chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to implement in full the commitments they undertook on November 9, 2020 and reconfirmed on November 26, 2021 in statements made by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and President of the Russian Federation and other jointly agreed ceasefire arrangements, (Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, December 7, 2021).
  8. Noting that the Co-Chair countries called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue their engagement under Co-Chair auspices to make concrete progress on humanitarian issues — including, inter alia, detainees, missing persons, the protection of historic and cultural sites, (Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, December 7, 2021).
  9. Deploring that the humanitarian provisions of the Trilateral Statement, particularly its Article 8 on the exchange of prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons, remain unaddressed.
  10. Noting that under the Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, both Azerbaijan has binding obligations to repatriate prisoners of war and release civilian persons without delay after the cessation of active hostilities, (PACE Resolution 2391 (2021), para 6.1).
  11. Remaining deeply concerned about the fate of around 40 Armenians, allegedly seen, filmed or photographed in captivity, with no indication as to their current whereabouts, as well as on allegations that these persons have been subjected to enforced disappearance and possibly killed, (PACE Resolution 2391 (2021), para 6.3).
  12. Expressing grave concern about credible reports, according to which Armenian prisoners of war and other captive persons have been and are being held in degrading conditions, and that they have been subjected to inhuman treatment and torture when captured or during their detention (European Parliament Resolution on the release of Armenian POWs May 20, 2021).
  13. Condemning the mock trials of the Armenian prisoners of war conducted on the basis of trumped up charges and confessions obtained under duress.
  14. Regretting the international community’s absence from Nagorno Karabakh due to the issue of access, (PACE Resolution 2391 (2021).
  15. Recalling that 1,456 monuments, mainly Armenian, came under Azerbaijan’s control after the ceasefire of November 9, 2020 that considerable deliberate damage was caused by Azerbaijan to Armenian cultural heritage during the 2020 war, particularly during the shelling of the Holy Saviour/Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para B).
  16. Recalling also the destruction, changing of the function of, or damage to other churches and cemeteries during and after the conflict, such as Zoravor Surb Astvatsatsin Church near the town of Mekhakavan and St Yeghishe in Mataghis village in Nagorno-Karabakh, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para B).
  17. Regretting that during his visit to the 12th century Armenian Church in Tsakuri, President Aliyev vowed to remove its Armenian inscriptions, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para B).
  18. Recalling that on December 7, 2021 the International Court of Justice indicated in its Order that Azerbaijan “shall take all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration affecting Armenian cultural heritage, including but not limited to churches and other places of worship, monuments, landmarks, cemeteries and artefacts”, (ICJ order in the case Armenia v. Azerbaijan, para 98 (c)).
  19. Underlining that all individuals in the OSCE area, including those living in conflict zones, are equally entitled to full Protection under the Convention on Human Rights, (PACE Resolution 2391 (2021), para 12.2).
  20. Condemning the reported serious violations and abuses committed against the people of Nagorno Karabakh, in particular intimidation and psychological pressure including through calls for their displacement and disruption of the critical infrastructure.
  21. Bearing in mind the grave humanitarian and human rights situation of the people of Nagorno Karabakh.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

  1. Calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
  2. Stresses that special attention should be paid to the achievement of a final comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the elements and principles proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, including Equal rights and Self-determination of peoples, (Statements by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, e.g. 13 April 2021).
  3. Calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to release all remaining captives and return them to Armenia without further delay, (PACE Resolution 2391 (2021), para 6.7).
  4. Encourages the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, OSCE institutions and participating states to make efforts and use all instruments available to facilitate the release of all Armenian prisoners of war and other captives.
  5. Calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to expedite their investigations into the allegations of enforced disappearances and provide relevant information to ICRC and Armenia, (PACE Resolution 2391 (2021)).
  6. Calls on all States involved to ensure unimpeded access by representatives of international independent humanitarian organizations and the media to Nagorno-Karabakh (PACE Resolution 2391 (2021).
  7. Acknowledges that the erasure of the Armenian cultural heritage is part of a wider pattern of a systematic, state-level policy of Armenophobia, historical revisionism and hatred towards Armenians promoted by the Azerbaijani authorities, including dehumanisation, the glorification of violence and territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia which threaten peace and security in the South Caucasus, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para 2).
  8. Welcomes UNESCO’s proposal to send an independent expert mission and calls for it to be sent without delay, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para 7).
  9. Stresses that Azerbaijan must grant unhindered access to all cultural heritage sites in order for the mission to draw up an inventory on the ground and to see what has happened to the sites, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para 7).
  10. Strongly insists that Azerbaijan enable UNESCO to have access to the heritage sites in the territories under its control, in order to be able to proceed with their inventory and for Azerbaijan to ensure their protection, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para 8).
  11. Urges Azerbaijan to ensure that no interventions on Armenian heritage sites occur prior to a UNESCO assessment mission, and that Armenian and international cultural heritage experts are consulted prior to, and closely involved during interventions on Armenian cultural heritage sites, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para 8).
  12. Calls for the full restoration of these and other demolished sites and for greater involvement of the international community, particularly UNESCO, in protecting the world heritage sites located in the region, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para 8).
  13. Calls on Azerbaijan to fully implement the provisional decision of the ICJ, in particular by “refraining from suppressing the Armenian language, destroying Armenian cultural heritage or otherwise eliminating the existence of the historical Armenian cultural presence or inhibiting Armenians’ access and enjoyment thereof” and by “restoring or returning any Armenian cultural and religious buildings and sites, artefacts or objects”, (European Parliament Resolution 2022/2582(RSP), para 12).
  14. Urges the OSCE Chairmanship to fully use the mandate of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference in ensuring its activities on the ground in Nagorno Karabakh.
  15. Urges the OSCE Chairmanship and the participating States to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
  16. Encourages parliamentarians of the OSCE participating States to engage with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
  17. Tasks the OSCE PA International Secretariat to organize a briefing with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on the humanitarian situation on the ground.
  18. Encourages the OSCE institutions to take actions aimed at monitoring and reporting on the humanitarian and human rights situation in Nagorno Karabakh.
  19. Calls on the OSCE Secretary General to remain seized of the matter and inform the OSCE PA on a regular basis about the activities undertaken in this regard.

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