Appeal of Armenian NGOs to the UN Secretary General, the Council of Europe and the European Union about the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh

December 16, 2022 Yerevan


On December 15, a group of Armenian civil society organizations appealed to the UN Secretary General, the UN special rapporteurs, the Council of Europe and the European Union bodies with a call for urgent action, regarding the humanitarian crisis created in Karabakh as a result of the blocking of the Lachin humanitarian corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to the outside world.

Letters calling for urgent actions were addressed to UN Secretary General António Guterres, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, to the special rapporteurs on the right to health, the right to education and the right to development, as well as to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe and the European Union institutions.

Letters prepared by Open Society Foundations – Armenia, Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, Transparency International Anti-corruption Center NGO, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor office NGO, Law Development and Protection Foundation, Journalists Club “Asparez” NGO, “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO, “For Equal Rights” NGO, Public Journalism Club NGO, Analytical Centre on Globalisation and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) specifically read as follows:

“Blocking the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to the outside world, and then blocking natural gas supply to Karabakh are coordinated effort by the Azerbaijani government to create a humanitarian crisis and make it impossible for Armenians to live in their homes. It is yet another alarming development around the situation of Nagorno-Karabakh that is not sufficiently condemned by respective international structures, emboldening the regime in Baku to carry out its genocidal policies of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is evident that the government of Baku has initiated this blockade, risking the lives of around 120 thousand Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh”.

The organizations described in detail the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is escalating day by day, noting that “Azerbaijan’s actions serve the purpose of acquiring territory without its native population through deliberate acts of ethnic cleansing”. The organizations emphasized that the Azerbaijani government with its actions aimed at ethnic cleansing against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh breaches number of provisions of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948).

“Furthermore, the total isolation of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh is a breach of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and, possibly, international criminal law. In addition to its obligations under human rights law, Azerbaijan has committed to endure unhindered passage via the Lachin corridor for the population of Nagorno- Karabakh under the Ceasefire Statement signed on 9 November 2020 by the President of Azerbaijan, Prime-Minister of Armenia and President of the Russian Federation”. Urgent measures are needed in this crisis situation.

We call on the UN Secretary General and relevant bodies of the UN to make a statement condemning the actions of the government of Azerbaijan, demand to immediately restore the free movement of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin Corridor, demand access for the respective United Nations agencies to Nagorno-Karabakh in order to assess the situation and provide humanitarian assistance” states the letter.

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