Comment by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia on the visit of the delegation led by the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan to Nagorno-Karabakh05 October, 2023
Question. On October 2, a visit of the UN group to Nagorno-Karabakh took place, the press release of which was extremely worrying. What are your comments?
Answer: Armenia received with deep concern and disappointment the information regarding the visit of the delegation led by the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan to Nagorno-Karabakh and the press release on its "results".
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia voiced the issue on October 2 during the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the heads of diplomatic missions and representatives of international organizations accredited in Armenia.
First of all, it should be noted that the visit of the delegation of the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan on October 2 cannot be considered an interagency mission which has nothing to do with the expectations of the Armenian side and the international community. Moreover, the visit of the delegation took place only when Nagorno-Karabakh was completely deprived of its indigenous Armenian population as a result of ethnic cleansing. As an objective assessment, the UN delegation could only record the fact of the displacement of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh, witnessing how the people of Nagorno-Karabakh left behind their homes, the graves of their relatives and centuries-old cultural and religious heritage.
We remind that after the blockade of the Lachin corridor, for several months the Armenian side was involved in cooperation with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other units of the UN Secretariat, calling on the UN to send an interagency fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh in order to assess the humanitarian and human rights situation that emerged as a result of the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh and react to the humanitarian needs of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. This issue has been repeatedly voiced during meetings with the UN Secretary General.
Numerous international human rights organizations, independent lawyers, and genocide scholars have expressed concern about the existential threats that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are facing, pointing out the risks of mass atrocity crimes. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the only humanitarian organisation present in Nagorno-Karabakh, in its statement expressed concern that it was unable to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilian population through the Lachin corridor. All these reports and assessments, which also showed a clear disregard for the UN's stated commitment to "leave no one behind", demonstrated the seriousness of the situation, which, in fact, was ignored by the UN.
The press release published after the visit of the UN team is very biased and does not reflect the situation on the ground: it does not mention the numerous killed and wounded resulting from Azerbaijan’s large-scale attack, the targeting of civilian infrastructure, more than 9-month-long blockade of the Lachin corridor and the resulting humanitarian crisis, the abduction of citizens by the Azerbaijani special services from the illegal check point located at the Hakari bridge and other facts known to international partners.
The visit of the delegation of the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan was used by Azerbaijan to promote its propaganda and legitimise the large-scale attack on Nagorno-Karabakh and its consequences.
Armenia expects a clear reaction from the UN to the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh, gross violations of international humanitarian law and the fundamental human rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, in accordance with the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter.