Speaking at a press conference on September 27, Pashinyan declared that “[previous actions by Azerbaijan] clearly indicate this aggression was pre-planned and constitutes large-scale provocation against regional peace & security” (courtesy of the press office of government of Armenia)

YEREVAN — In honor of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivered an address virtually. The address was delivered on September 25, before the Azerbaijani and Turkish attack on September 27.

 

This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, an organization born of the ashes of World War II. We remember the sacrifices made by our ancestors for the sake of peace, the hardships and sufferings they endured for the future of humanity.

Today, for the first time, the UN General Assembly is being held on a virtual scale. As inconvenient and undesirable as it may be, meeting at this level demonstrates humanity’s determination to continue international cooperation, as it demonstrates our commitment and commitment to UN principles and multilateral cooperation.

The epidemic has had an unprecedented impact on all areas of human life. To address global challenges, all nations need to return to the field of effective multilateralism international cooperation under the auspices of the United Nations.

We appreciate the leading role of the United Nations, particularly the World Health Organization United Nations Development Program, in the global fight against COVID -19. We are grateful to all our partner countries who have supported Armenia. We also provided our share of assistance to our other partners. This collective effort is a crucial manifestation of international solidarity.

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Guided by the spirit of our collective commitment to not leave anyone behind, we share the belief that equitable access to health technologies and products needed to fight the virus should be a global priority, and that everyone, including those living in conflict areas, should have the opportunity Have unrestricted access to COVID-19 without restrictions.

Likewise, COVID-19 vaccines are a public good of global significance and should be available to all peoples without discrimination.

Let me reaffirm Armenia’s unequivocal support for the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire, UN Security Council Resolution 2532 on COVID-19, which calls for a total, immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations.

Although human efforts these days have focused on overcoming COVID -19, we have witnessed painful attempts to destabilize peace and security in our region.

In July, Azerbaijan launched another aggressive operation. The Azerbaijani armed forces attacked in the direction of the border region of Tavush in Armenia.

Armenia called for an immediate easing of tensions, agreed to cease hostilities within hours of their outbreak, yet Azerbaijan continued to target civilians, infrastructure, and non-stop attacks on Armenia’s border areas using artillery, heavy weapons, and large-scale drones.

Moreover, the Azerbaijani authorities intensified their belligerent rhetoric, crossing all possible boundaries of civilized ideas. The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan even threatened to launch a missile strike on the Armenian nuclear power plant, which is equivalent to the threat of “nuclear terrorism”.

The July battles dispelled the myth of Azerbaijan’s military superiority, confirming that there was no military solution to the Karabakh conflict. The need for the Azerbaijani leadership to accept this fact has long matured, so they must refrain from the use of force or threats in the context of a peaceful settlement of the conflict through negotiations.

Armenia reaffirms its commitment to an exclusively peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The peace process should be based on the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination, which has been recognized by the international community, international mediators, in particular the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

By virtue of this right, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh must be able to determine their status without restriction. Therefore, the authorities elected by them must be able to participate in the negotiations. The problems and needs of the people living in the conflict zone must become a priority on the negotiating agenda.

Another key priority for Armenia is to ensure the comprehensive security of the people of Artsakh, who are threatened by ontological security threats.

Freedom, democracy, and respect for fundamental human rights are necessary preconditions in the process of creating a favorable environment for a comprehensive and comprehensive settlement of the conflict. Only legitimately elected governments can truly express the interests of their people and compromise.

The Azerbaijani authorities are consistently using the conflict to legitimize the longevity of their power. For decades, Armenia and Armenians have been seen as an enemy by the Azerbaijani leadership to justify the low standard of living, lack of democracy, and widespread human rights abuses in their country.

The ceasefire must be strengthened by concrete actions on the ground. The abandonment of belligerent rhetoric, hate speech, the expansion of the OSCE monitoring mission on the border, the establishment of mechanisms to investigate ceasefire violations, and the establishment of direct lines of communication between local commanders are crucial in this regard.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The calls made by the international community during the July escalation were mainly about maintaining the ceasefire, dialogue and restraint of the parties. Turkey, however, in line with its destabilizing policy of expanding its influence, has spared no effort to escalate tensions in neighboring regions such as the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, and the South Caucasus.

By unilaterally supporting Azerbaijan and expanding its military presence there, Turkey is stepping up its efforts to establish peace and stability in the region, as are the initiatives of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to that end. Turkey directly threatens Armenia’s demonstratively belligerent stance abroad, holding provocative joint military exercises with Azerbaijan in the immediate vicinity of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey builds its policy in our region on tribal traditions, manipulation of conflicts, justification of the Armenian Genocide, impunity for this crime. Turkey is a security threat to Armenia and the region.

In this context, Armenia will continue to be actively involved in regional and international efforts to maintain peace and security through dialogue and cooperation.

Despite the challenges we face this year, Armenia continues to be involved in international peace and security operations. Armenian peacekeepers serving in Lebanon, Mali, Kosovo and Afghanistan have contributed to security and stability there. We are ready to expand our participation in UN-sponsored peacekeeping operations.

Armenia supports the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development 2020 agenda.

On July 10, 2020, Armenia presented its second Voluntary National Report on Sustainable Development Goals. The theme of this year’s High Level Political Forum, Accelerated Action Ways of Transformation, perfectly reflects the national priorities and policies proclaimed by Armenia since the Nonviolent, Velvet Revolution of 2018.

With the full support of the people, our government is determined to pursue its ambitious reform agenda, which aims to build a competitive, inclusive democratic society through strong state institutions. The reform agenda covers every area of public life, with an emphasis on human rights, the rule of law, the fight against corruption, an independent judiciary, and improved governance.

We pursue a large-scale economic and social development agenda, relying on high technological, environmental and educational standards. This week, our government launched the Draft Strategy for the Transformation of Armenia by 2050, which lists 16 overarching goals based on a bold vision of modernity and progress.

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations is forcing us to accept the many challenges to human dignity and human rights. As a member of the Human Rights Council, Armenia will continue to greatly contribute to international cooperation aimed at protecting and strengthening human rights.

In both its domestic and foreign policy agenda, Armenia emphasizes the equality of all citizens, the active participation of women and youth in political and public life.

The protection of women’s rights in conflict zones, their participation in all stages of conflict resolution is crucial. The implementation of the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 is one of the key priorities of our government.

Genocide prevention has always been an absolute priority for Armenia. As a nation that survived the horrors of the genocide, we have a moral responsibility to humanity to preserve the memory of the victims of the genocides, to contribute to the international community’s efforts to prevent a recurrence of this horrific crime.

We appreciate the international community’s support for Armenia’s efforts to advance the international agenda of effective prevention through the Human Rights Council.

Armenia supports the establishment of inclusive dialogue platforms between governments, parliaments, international organizations, academia, and civil society on the genocide prevention agenda. The regular Global Forum Against Genocide in Armenia has become another platform for dialogue.

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations is an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the three interrelated pillars of peace, development and human rights.

Ongoing conflicts, the persistence of radicalism and intolerance, transnational and global challenges reveal our collective weaknesses and interdependencies.

As always, we need effective multilateralism; consequently, a strong, reformed United Nations to ensure a better future, peace and security for future generations.

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