Honorable President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to once again deliver a statement at the United Nations General Assembly.
First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr. Abdulla Shahid on his
election as President of the General Assembly, as well as Mr. António
Guterres on his re-election as Secretary-General of the United Nations. I
am confident that with your leadership you will help us overcome the
vast challenges we are facing.
Today in my speech, I would like to refer to the situation in the South
Caucasus region, present our views and proposals on the solution of the
As you know, in the fall of 2020, Nagorno-Karabakh was subjected to
aggression. The war that lasted forty-four days took the lives of
several thousands of people. Tens of thousands of residents of
Nagorno-Karabakh were displaced. The aggression was accompanied by
numerous gross violations of international law by the Azerbaijani armed
forces, including deliberate targeting of civilians and vital
infrastructure, extrajudicial killings of prisoners of war and civilian
hostages, torture and many other documented crimes. As a result of these
actions, in the parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, which came under the control
of Azerbaijan, the Armenian people were subjected to complete ethnic
cleansing. Unfortunately, the international community here again could
not prevent the mass atrocities. Today, no Armenian lives or practically
could live in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan.
Thanks to the mediation efforts of the Russian Federation, it was
possible to stop the bloodshed. On November 9, a trilateral ceasefire
statement was signed. Peacekeeping forces of the Russian Federation were
deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh, which today ensure stability and security
One month ago, the Republic of Armenia National Assembly approved the
Government's Action Plan for 2021-2026, where one of the key provisions
is to open an era of peaceful development for our country and the
region. Moreover, as per the results of the early parliamentary election
held on June 20, 2021, the people of Armenia gave to our Government a
mandate to move towards this key goal. It should be emphasized that our
Government received this important mandate based on the results of
elections that were held to overcome the domestic political crisis.
This was the second election in our country after the Non-violent,
Velvet, People's Revolution in Armenia in 2018. Both elections were
assessed by international observers as competitive, transparent, and in
line with democratic standards.
So, how are we going to achieve the goal of opening an era of peaceful
development for our country and the region? Through dialogue, overcoming
incrementally the atmosphere of painful hostility in our region. We
realize that the path will be difficult and long. Unfortunately, the
incidents designed to delegitimize the peace agenda and deepen and
institutionalize the atmosphere of hostility occur on a daily basis.
Violations of the ceasefire, aggressive and insulting statements against
Armenia and the Armenian people continue to escalate the atmosphere.
An act against the peace agenda is the fact that, contrary to Article 8
of the November 9 statement, Azerbaijan not only still holds several
dozen citizens of the Republic of Armenia in captivity, but also has
sentenced many of them to 6 to 20 years imprisonment on trumped-up
charges. In addition, there are persons whose captivity has not yet been
confirmed by Azerbaijan, although there is clear evidence that they
were captured. This becomes even more unacceptable against the
background that in the fall of 2020, Azerbaijani users posted videos of
the capture of specific Armenian soldiers, and later the decapitated or
shot bodies of those soldiers were discovered. We have irrefutable
evidence about the torture of our captives.
An outrageous example of the deepening of the atmosphere of hostility is
the opening of the so-called trophy park in Baku, where Azerbaijani
schoolchildren are taken on excursions to watch the mannequins of
captured, killed or bleeding Armenian soldiers.
These and other steps are taken to demonstrate the impossibility of
peace in our region, but we will consistently advance that agenda by
using every opportunity and by creating new opportunities to open an era
of peace for our region.
In this sense, I consider the opening of regional communications
extremely important, which is stated in the 9th point of the trilateral
declaration signed by the President of the Russian Federation, the
President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia of November 9,
2020 and January 11, 2021.
The interconnected transport arteries of the region will be an outcome
of resolving this issue. Opportunity will be created for establishing
economic ties, which is one of the important prerequisites for peaceful
While examining the topic of reopening transport links, we discovered
that there are options that aim at sustaining regional isolation and
hostility, but there are also options that emphasize regional
interconnectedness and can be a step-by-step solution of the problem of
hostility. We are an advocate for the latter option.
If the railway connecting Armenia to Turkey is opened too, then the
topic of opening regional communications will cover broader scope.
Honorable Mr. Secretary General,
Armenia is ready for a constructive dialogue, which should lead to the
establishment of sustainable and lasting peace in the region. In this
regard, we propose to complete the process of return of prisoners of
war, hostages and other captives without delay.
It is also necessary to resume the peace process for the settlement of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group
There is no doubt that the situation created through the use of force
cannot gain legitimacy from the point of view of international law. The
right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination cannot be suspended
through the use of force; the conflict cannot be considered resolved
through the use of force. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is awaiting its
just settlement. This is evidenced by the statements of the Co-Chair
countries, which emphasize the need to resume the negotiation process
based on the well-known principles.
We believe that the contacts mediated by the Co-Chairs will enable the
parties to find common ground, and to open avenues for addressing many
Next is the issue of delimitation and demarcation of the
Armenia-Azerbaijan border. I must state with regret that it is difficult
to imagine a border delimitation process on the backdrop of almost
daily shootings and various provocations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani
border, on the backdrop of units of the armed forces of Azerbaijan
having infiltrated the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia on
May 12, 2021 in the Sotk-Khoznavar section. To overcome this situation,
we have suggested the following actions: In the above mentioned
section, the armed forces of both Armenia and Azerbaijan should withdraw
simultaneously to the Soviet times border, international observers
would be deployed along that border and under international auspices we
would start delimitation and demarcation. We are ready to implement this
proposal at any time.
In my speech, I touched upon issues of vital importance for our country
and for the region. These issues need urgently to be addressed today and
require the urgent attention of the international community.
At the same time, as I conclude my speech, I would like to reaffirm that
Armenia, as a responsible member of the international community and a
reliable partner, will continue to contribute to the strengthening of
comprehensive international order, to international cooperation based on
the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, promoting sustainable
development and protection of fundamental human rights.
We are committed to a constructive and inclusive dialogue with all our partners.
Armenia is ready to make every effort to contribute to overcoming the
current global challenges such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic,
issues of international peace, security, and sustainable development.
With this, let me complete my speech by wishing success to the works of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
Thank you for attention.