Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan’s remarks at the 43rd session of the Francophonie Ministerial Forum

18 November, 2022

Mr. President,

Madam Secretary-General of La Francophonie,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Mr. President, it is a pleasure for me to participate in this Ministerial conference in your beautiful country and I would like to thank you for your hospitality.

I would also like to thank the General Secretary of La Francophonie for ensuring the proper functioning of our Organization during these challenging times, implementing important reforms and outlining the initiatives for the upcoming years. Indeed, the new strategic framework of La Francophonie sets out priorities and ambitions for the Organization to which we are fully committed.

Today we have gathered amid the crisis of multilateralism accompanied by an increasingly growing number of conflicts.

We note that the collective security mechanisms based on respect for the UN Charter principles, particularly, the sovereign equality and non-use of force against the territorial integrity of any state can no longer guarantee the security of states facing the aggressive policy of other states.

One of the first victims of this has become Armenia. Its territorial integrity and sovereignty has been violated by Azerbaijan, which has undertaken aggressions since May, 2021. The recent aggression was unleashed on September 13-14, 2022 with the consequences known to all of us: the occupation of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, hundreds of victims and wounded, thousands of displaced people and the extensive destruction of civilian infrastructure.

Let us not forget about the gross violations of international humanitarian law, the terrible atrocities which horrified the world, committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces against the Armenian prisoners of war, including the servicewomen.

Тoday, the tension on our border with Azerbaijan still remains, and despite the commitments not to use force or the threat of force, the President of Azerbaijan continues threatening the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia and making unfounded territorial claims.

In this regard, we welcome the fact that many countries have recognized the violation of territorial integrity of Armenia and demanded the withdrawal of Azerbaijani forces from the sovereign territory of Armenia.

Armenia remains committed to the peaceful settlement of all issues related to the conflict, including ensuring the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, and we express our gratitude to those international partners who make efforts to achieve this.

Mr. President, dear colleagues,

Coming back to our conference work: Armenia expresses its support for the documents submitted for our approval, which relate to the draft strategic framework of La Francophonie, the declaration on the French language, and the rules of procedure for the membership.

We also express our agreement to the draft Declaration of Djerba. In this regard, we would like to congratulate the Tunisian presidency for keeping digitization in the limelight of our attention.

With regards to the draft resolution on crises in the French-speaking world, we would like to express our gratitude for the paragraphs on Armenia. It is important that La Francophonie member states and governments have expressed their solidarity with Armenia, making the main issues as their own, which determine the peaceful settlement of the sides to the conflict. 

In conclusion, I would like to return to the request of the delegation of Albania to reopen the discussion of paragraphs regarding Armenia. We disagree with this due to the following reasons:

First and foremost, these paragraphs are very balanced and represent the result of compromises into which Armenia has put great effort.

The second reason is that we should respect the work of the Committee, its Chairman and members, who have held long discussions to find solutions to various problematic issues that would be acceptable to all parties. These paragraphs also represent the outcome of that work.

I would add one more, the last reason, namely, the effectiveness of the work of this Conference. We don't think that the Albanian delegation can present, as it announced a few minutes ago, a draft of paragraphs on which consensus can be reached within the framework of our conference. We consider it ineffective to start new discussions, which can only lead to a dead end.

During the discussions of the Drafting Committee, a consensus has already been reached on the points related to Armenia, and if the Albanian delegation has some difficulties to approve them, perhaps it can express a reservation on these paragraphs, as some delegations have done on other points of the draft decision.

Thank you for your attention.

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