Statement on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations
- October 24, 2020
- Category: Announcements
October 24, 2020
On October 24th, as the United Nations celebrate its 75th anniversary, we – the undersigned non-governmental organizations from Armenia, feel that we are obliged to remind this prominent institution of its major mission – the maintenance of international peace and security across the globe through working to prevent conflict, helping parties in conflict make peace, peacekeeping, and creating the conditions to allow peace to hold and flourish.
It is with heavy heart that we claim the poor performance of the United Nations as we see the atrocities unravelling before our very eyes in various locations of the globe. Multiple structures of the UN demonstrate not to be capable of reacting timely and adequately to the fierce threats to human lives, medieval brutalities and humanitarian disasters in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Myanmar and now in Artsakh (aka Nagorno-Karabagh). It is obvious and unfortunate that the idleness of these institutions in critical situations is not as much conditioned by “heavy” nature typical for bureaucratic organizations, but often by double standards, realpolitik, corrupt games and interests of states, politicians and large businesses, that prove to prevail over the UN core values and fundamental human rights.
On September 27 2020, Azerbaijan together with Turkey started a large-scale war against the people of Artsakh. For already a month now, the aggressor states use a full arsenal of 21st century weaponry – including long-range missiles and rocket launchers, airforce, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and banned cluster munitions as well as Turkish military personnel and mercenaries recruited from Syria and possibly elsewhere.
Justification of the war is the “failure” of negotiations in the scope of the Minsk Group and the purpose to “return” the territory, which was never part of independent Azerbaijan but was given to the Soviet Azerbaijan by Stalin in early 1920s, where its people exercised their right to self-determination in line with the Soviet Union laws during its dissolution. In other words, through using enormous volume of deadly weapons and advanced military technologies, intentionally targeting peaceful civilian population, mutilating and decapitating captured civilians and PoWs, making women, children and elderly to reside in bomb shelters or displace to Armenia, and destroying civilian infrastructures, including residences, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, townhalls and places of worship, Azerbaijan and Turkey are trying to destroy human lives and clean the territory of Artsakh from indigenous Armenians.
Azerbaijan/Turkey started the war disregarding the call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in March and a subsequent UN resolution in June 2020 that urged for a global cease-fire in light of COVID-19 pandemic. Since densely populated cities of Artsakh are being shelled for over 3 weeks, people get crowded in bomb-shelters in Artsakh, while several hundred families are evacuated to Armenia exacerbating the spread of pandemic. Both Artsakh and Armenia currently face a major humanitarian crisis.
For the last month the government and civil society organizations in Armenia and Artsakh have raised their voice against the threat of another genocide perpetrated by the regimes of Aliyev, who nurtured Armenophobia in Azerbaijan and Erdogan – who admires Hitler and claims to complete the unfinished work of his predecessors in Ottoman Empire. Several complaints have been also addressed to the human rights special rapporteurs and working groups. At this moment we do not witness much move except for some limited humanitarian assistance by the UN institutions in Armenia. People of Artsakh are “left behind” and alone – merely because of the “non-recognized” status of the territory they live in, receiving help only from Armenia, which contradicts the spirit of the UN SDGs.
The United Nations has to act NOW to protect human lives, rights and freedoms of Artsakh people.
We believe that the United Nations – as the holder of the post-WWII achievement of moral standing on inalienable rights of all members of the human family, all members without any prejudice and preference – is the authoritative voice that should help all peoples and all nations to renew the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
Hence, we appeal to the United Nations, particularly to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council to act in an adequate and timely manner to stop the attempt for ethnic cleansing in Artsakh, act decisively on their responsibilities to protect civilians and the rights of the indigenous people for living, for being free from torture and for self-determination.
Obviously, people of Artsakh cannot live under the rule of an aggressor state that merely wants the territory without its population, hence the United Nations has to take into consideration the remedial rights of people of Artsakh and recognize the independence of Artsakh for the sake of salvation of its people.
- Transparency International Anticorruption Center
- Law Development and Protection Foundation
- “Protection of Rights Without Borders” NGO
- “For Equal Rights” NGO
- Open Society Foundations – Armenia
- Helsinki Citizens Assembly – Vanadzor
- Tufenkian Foundation
- Womens’ Support Center
- “PINK” human rights NGO
- Center for Perspective Development
- Freedom of Information Center of Armenia
- Public Journalism Club
- Human Rights Research Center
- Women’s Rights House NGO
- “Human Rights Power” NGO
- Women’s Rights Center
- “Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities
- “Society without Violence” NGO
- “Spitak Helsinki Group” NGO
- Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
- Media Initiatives Center
- “Yerevan Press Club” NGO
- “Armenian Camp” NGO
- Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition
- Armenian Center for Ethnological Studies “Hazarashen
- Centre of Economic Right
- Centre for Policy Studies
- Armenian Constitutional Right – Protective Centre NGO
- “TRTU” cultural NGO
- “Ecoteam” NGO
- “EcoLur” Informational NGO
- Audio-Visual Reporters Association
- Foundation for Small and Medium Businesses