Edward Nalbandyan: "Azerbaijan does everything possible to cover up these crimes avoiding responsibility and deflecting attention by making false accusations"
"30 years ago on these very days of February massacres of Armenians were carried out in Sumgait, Azerbaijan. As a result a great number of Armenians were killed, injured and deported. The violent actions were carried out by the authorities of Azerbaijan to punish Armenians for the peaceful demonstrations of Nagorno-Karabakh population aimed at achieving self-determination. It was after these fierce killings that Nobel peace prize winner Andrei Sakharov wrote, "If before Sumgait massacres there might be someone who was doubtful, after this tragedy no one has the moral right to insist on Nagorno-Karabakh becoming part of Azerbaijan''", said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan in his speech at the 37th session of UN’s Human Rights Council.
The Sumgait massacres were widely condemned by a lot of structures including the European Parliament by passing a corresponding resolution. Unfortunately, the organizers and performers of this crime action were not punished the way they deserved. As it always has happened in human history impunity always leads to new crimes such as the killings of Armenians and ethnic cleansing in Baku, Kirovabad (Gandzak), Maragha and in a number of other places.
Azerbaijan does everything possible to cover up these crimes avoiding responsibility and deflecting attention by making false accusations with the help of such instruments as the so called Khojalu agitation. Trying to play the victim Azerbaijan aims to discredit Armenians by attaching to them the label of the party having committed a violent crime.
This is a part of Azerbaijan’s anti- Armenian xenophobic policy. So far Azerbaijan has never given up its xenophobic policy against Armenians. UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and many other institutions of human rights protection expressed concern over the non-stop hatred against Armenians spread by the political leaders, educational institutions and mass media of Azerbaijan and over the fact that a whole generation of Azerbaijani people has grown up obeying this hate speech. It is this kind of anti-Armenian agitation that stimulated continuous violent actions directed towards Armenians including serious violations of international human rights by the Azerbaijani armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh in April, 2016 such as murdering children, women, elderly people, body stealing, beheading captured soldiers in a manner characteristic to the notorious terrorist organizations.
Ladies and gentlemen,
When there is a direct threat to life it is of primary importance to provide the population of confrontation zone with accessibility to the corresponding agencies of UN and special procedures as well as delivering humanitarian aid.
It is ironical when they consult the performers of mass crimes to get permission to engage international organizations into the matter and provide humanitarian aid. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh must not be deprived of the opportunity to co-operate with human right organizations because of Azerbaijan - a country which is notorious exactly for human rights violations.
According to the universal declaration the realization of individual and collective human rights and fundamental freedoms must not be based on the status of the territory where people live. This must be a leading principle for those who are faithful to the all-round implementation of the Declaration without leaving “black spots” in places where people are deprived of the international support of realization of their rights. The belated reaction, the delayed observation of the situation, the absence of preventive measures are the result of the difference between the stated obligations and their implementation on the spot. Indeed “to postpone the realization of the right is to refuse it”.
I would like to quote one of the authors of the Universal Declaration Eleanor Roosevelt, “Basically we could not have peace, or an atmosphere in which peace could grow, unless we recognized the rights of individual human beings.”
In 2015 at the initiative of Armenia the UN Human Rights Council univocally passed a resolution on Genocide Prevention. As a continuation of this again at the initiative of our republic the UN General Assembly established 9 December as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide. As the Under-Secretary- General of the UN has recently mentioned “Armenia has had a leading role in preservation of the 1948 convention of Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide realization.”
In different parts of world we witness crimes towards ethnic and religious groups carried out based on identity, which openly demonstrates that the world is not free of this “abominable disaster” and doubling of the international efforts directed towards the refreshment of prevention agenda remains topical.
At this session of Human Rights Council Armenia is going to present a Genocide Prevention resolution according to which the 70th anniversary of the Convention will be marked by precise suggestions of actions and the activities of the UN and its member states directed towards this matter will be discussed. On December 9 we are going to host the 3rd global forum Against the Crime of Genocide. This is going to be an important platform that will reflect the determination of our united struggle against this awful crime, serve to raising awareness of it and preventing genocides by encouraging education.
Armenia continues to carry out the national program of human rights protection the main purpose of which is to form a document of united policy in the sphere of human rights protection. We dutifully presented the national reports of Armenia and the accounts of their realization to the UN treaty bodies. Armenia supports the procedure of The Universal Periodic Review and is going to voluntarily present the second mid-term report of The Universal Periodic Review.
Our country is about to finish the transition to a parliamentary system of government. During the whole transition procedure including the Constitutional Referendum, the corresponding changes in principal laws of Armenia and parliamentary elections were carried out in inclusive environment by cooperating with our international colleagues and showed that progress recorded in the field of protection of fundamental freedom is stable and strong.
We are going to continue the process of amendments in Armenia due to the support provided by our colleagues including the UN.
Mr. President, I would like to reestablish Armenia’s continuous obligation of strengthening democratic institutions, the supremacy of law, judicial system, efficient management which continue to have a very special place in the system of our priorities".