Remarks of Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan at the Voice of the South Virtual Summit-202312 January, 2023
On January 12, Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan made remarks at the Voice of the South Virtual Summit held within the framework of the presidency of India in the G-20. In his remarks, Minister Mirzoyan particularly noted:
Your Excellency Minister Jaishankar,
Your Excellences Foreign Ministers,
First, I would like to congratulate India for assuming the G-20 presidency and express our gratitude for the invitation to the Voice of the South Virtual Summit.
Last month in New York, I witnessed India’s leadership in promoting unity and progress among UN member-states on the need to work together to address the challenges that all of our people face, as well as to uphold the United Nations Charter and its core principles. It is gratifying to see that India with its vital democracy and dynamic economy is making rapid progress in many areas and we appreciate India’s stabilizing activities in these times of global turmoil.
In a world where threats and challenges continue to grow and tendencies of exclusion continue to rise, we need to explore new ways and channels for inclusive partnerships to mitigate the negative trends and tap into the enormous potential of the Global South. In that sense, the priorities of the Indian presidency in G-20 - from green development to technological transformation, from inclusive and resilient growth to women-led development and many others - are prerequisites for a free, open world that is connected, that is prosperous, and that is safe.
One of the priorities for creating a conducive environment for the development of the countries and peoples of the Global South should be connectivity. As a landlocked developing country, Armenia is a long-standing advocate of promoting inclusive and equitable regional and cross-border connectivity in our region and beyond, which would unlock the trade and transit potential of the South Caucasus. Efficient cooperation between the landlocked and transit countries and unblocking of all regional transport communications is key to removing political barriers to the free movement of people, goods and services, particularly, in times of global recession and in terms of realization of the economic and social rights of all peoples.
In this regard, we are interested in advancing cooperation within the framework of North-South connectivity, as well as the Persian Gulf - the Black Sea international transport corridor. Armenia considers India's potential and prospective role for these projects as quite significant.
As we speak about connectivity and free movement of people, for more than a month already the entire world has witnessed a flagrant violation of these principles: under made-up ecological concerns, a group of Azerbaijani government agents has been blocking the Lachin corridor - the only lifeline connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and to the rest of the world. By discrediting the global environmental agenda and violating the right to free movement, Azerbaijan keeps hostage 120,000 Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, including 30,000 kids and several thousands of disabled persons. Because of the Azerbaijani unlawful blockade, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh today face a humanitarian catastrophe. There is an acute shortage of essential goods, food and medicine. The danger of malnutrition, especially child malnutrition is tangible. Hundreds of families left on different sides of the Azerbaijani blockade remain separated.
In this situation, we highly appreciate the unequivocal calls by the international community and particularly by the majority of the UN Security Council members during the urgent meeting of the UN SC held on December 20, 2022, to end the blockade and ensure access to Nagorno-Karabakh for international organizations.
However, the continuous provocations and aggressive actions of Azerbaijan have come to demonstrate that the absence of strong and appropriate accountability measures only encourages Azerbaijan to continue testing the determination and willingness of the international community to take action. Currently, concrete pressure on Azerbaijan from our international partners, including G-20 members, is needed with the aim of ending the inhumane siege of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and returning to the negotiation table.
We also consider it necessary to deploy an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground, as well as to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to Nagorno-Karabakh for relevant UN bodies.