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Nalbandian: Impunity in Sumgait’s Armenian pogroms led to new atrocities


Photo: PAN Photo


Yerevan /Mediamax/. Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian delivered a statement at the High Level Segment of the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on February 27.

Mediamax has selected the most noteworthy excerpts from Minister Nalbandian’s speech.

Baku tires to look the victim through Khojaly campaign

“Thirty years ago, during these very days in February 1988, anti-Armenian pogroms broke out in Azerbaijani Sumgait, leaving numerous Armenians killed, maimed, and deported. The pogroms were perpetrated by the authorities of Azerbaijan with the aim to punish Armenians for the peaceful aspirations of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh for self-determination.

Regrettably, the masterminds and perpetrators of this crime were not duly punished. As it happened many times in the human history, impunity opened the door for new atrocities, including Armenian massacres and ethnic cleansing in Baku, Kirovabad (Gandzak), Maragha and many other places.

By all means Azerbaijan attempts to conceal these atrocities, to avoid responsibility and to shift attention from them through fabricated accusations, including by the so-called Khojaly campaign, trying to portray themselves as victims and discredit Armenians as alleged perpetrators of the violence.

It is a part of Azerbaijan’s xenophobic anti-Armenian policy. Until this day, Azerbaijan continues the anti-Armenian propaganda.

It is this kind of propaganda that has incited continuous atrocities against Armenians, including the gross violations of international humanitarian law committed by the armed forces of Azerbaijan in April 2016 in Nagorno-Karabakh - killing of children, women, elderly people, mutilation of the corpses, beheading of captured soldiers in the style used by notorious terrorist organizations.”

People of Karabakh should not be deprived of international cooperation

“When there is an imminent threat to life the unhindered access of the relevant United Nations agencies and special procedures, provision of humanitarian assistance to the people residing in conflict areas gains utmost significance.

It is perplexing that the perpetrators of such horrendous crimes are consulted for their consent on the engagement of international organizations and the provision of the humanitarian assistance. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh should not be deprived from cooperation with the human rights’ organizations due to the objection of Azerbaijan, a country notorious for the violations of the very human rights.”

Armenia presents resolution on genocide prevention

“In 2015, upon the initiative of Armenia, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a unanimous Resolution on the Genocide Prevention. In its development, again upon our initiative, the UN General Assembly assigned December 9th as an International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of Genocide.

What is happening in front of our eyes in different parts of the world, related to the identity-based crimes against ethnic and religious groups vividly manifests that the world is not immune from this “odious scourge” and that it remains imperative to redouble the international efforts aimed at reinvigoration of the prevention agenda.

During this session of the Human Rights Council Armenia presents a resolution on Genocide Prevention which will mark the 70th anniversary of the Convention with specific recommendations for actions and reflect on the activities of the UN and its member states in this regard. On December 9th we will host the Third International Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide in Yerevan.”

Armenia continues reforms with support from UN

“Armenia continues to implement National Plan of Action for Human Rights Protection, the main objective of which is to formulate a unified policy document in the area of human rights protection. We have a good record of submissions of national and follow-up reports to the UN treaty bodies.

Our country is completing its transition to parliamentary system of governance. Throughout the whole process of transition, including the Constitutional referendum, the subsequent amendments of the key laws in Armenia and the parliamentary elections were conducted in an inclusive manner, in close cooperation with our international partners and have demonstrated that the progress achieved in upholding fundamental freedoms is sustainable and irreversible.

We will continue the reform process in our country also making use of the good offices provided by our partners, including the United Nations.”

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