United Nations Security Council internationalizes the Artsakh issue

Once again Armenians heard supportive words from the international community; this time from the United Nations Security Council.

The discussion in the UN Security Council served to influence world public opinion and internationalize the Artsakh issue, thus pressuring Azerbaijan to allow 120,000 Artsakh Armenians to have access to food, medical aid, and travel to Armenia through the Lachin Corridor.

Here are excerpts from the two hour long speeches by all 15 UN Security Council members on December 20, 2022:

The first speaker was Miroslav Jenča, UN’s Assistant Secretary-General. He stated that “Armenia and Azerbaijan have provided widely differing accounts of the situation and accused each other of violating the November 9, 2020 trilateral statement.”

The Deputy Representative of France, Nathalie Estival-Broadhurst, made a powerful statement saying that “restrictions on the free movement through the Corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are unacceptable. The direct consequence of blocking the Lachin Corridor is the isolation of the NK population. It has humanitarian consequences that are getting worse every day. France calls for the unconditional restoration of traffic along the Corridor and of supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh, while respecting the rights of the populations residing there.… France also notes that, as the Republic of Azerbaijan has undertaken, the safety of the movement of people, vehicles and goods along the Lachin Corridor in both directions be guaranteed.”

Mohamed Issa Abushahab, the Representative of the United Arab Emirates, urged both sides “to resolve their differences through peaceful and diplomatic means.”

Ferit Hoxha, the Representative of Albania, noted “the importance of ensuring freedom and security of movement along the Corridor.”

Geng Shuang, the Representative of China, stated that “the disputes surrounding the Lachin Corridor should be resolved through dialog and consultation.”

Robert A. Wood, the Alternate Representative of the United States, strongly urged “the government of Azerbaijan and others responsible for the Corridor’s security to restore free movement, including for humanitarian and commercial use, as soon as possible…. Any attempt to cut off services essential to the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh is unacceptable.”

Anna M. Evstigneeva, the Deputy Representative of the Russian Federation, stated that “the Corridor ensures a link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.” She admitted that “it is under the control of a Russian peacekeeping contingent, which remains a guarantor of stability in the region and is carrying out its objectives effectively.” She promised that a full transport Corridor will be restored “in the very near future.”

James Kariuki, the Deputy Representative of the United Kingdom, strongly urged “the immediate reopening of the Corridor. The Lachin Corridor is the only means by which daily necessities can be delivered to the region. The closure of the Corridor for over a week raises the potential for severe humanitarian consequences, especially in the winter. We also note with concern the civilians who have been stranded by the closure and urge that their unimpeded return is urgently prioritized.”

Ronaldo Costa Filho, the Representative of Brazil, expressed his serious concern that “any obstruction jeopardizes the well-being of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Jayne Jepkorir Toroitich, the Representative of Kenya, voiced concern about “the ongoing blockade along the Lachin Corridor.” She called on both sides “to de-escalate current tensions and cooperate in ensuring freedom and security of movement along the Corridor.”

Juan Gomez Robledo Verduzco, the Representative of Mexico, stated that his country “is following with concern the tensions surrounding the situation in the Lachin Corridor and the potential humanitarian implications of traffic blockages.”

Mona Juul, the Representative of Norway, stated that “the blockage of the Corridor has already had severe humanitarian implications. Medical supplies and medical evacuations have been interrupted. As any disruptions to the supply of essential goods and services harm the most vulnerable groups first. This can and must be avoided.”

Khalilah Hackman, the Representative of Ghana, emphasized “the need to prioritize the humanitarian interests of civilian populations. Any real or perceived blockage of the Lachin Corridor must be addressed as a matter of urgency to ensure the interrupted and safe movement of all persons.”

Martin Gallagher, the Deputy Representative of Ireland, warned that “without the free movement of people, goods, food and medical supplies through this vital Corridor, the people of Nagorno Karabakh will surely face a humanitarian crisis this winter. As a Council we must do everything we can to avoid this and prevent another man-made catastrophe emerging on our watch. Ireland therefore calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately and unconditionally restore freedom and security of movement along the Lachin Corridor…. Ireland supports a negotiated, comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the conflict, including on the long-term status of Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Edwige Koumby Missambo, the Representative of Gabon, expressed concern regarding “the closure of the Lachin Corridor, which could result in a humanitarian crisis. The right to move through the Corridor must be guaranteed.”

Ravindra Raguttahalli, the Deputy Representative of India, stated: “the reports regarding blockade of the Lachin Corridor indicate adverse implications on the supply of essential items such as food and medicine to Nagorno Karabakh. This is a matter of deep concern and has the potential to precipitate a humanitarian crisis.”

Mher Margaryan, the Representative of Armenia, warned that the blockade is “another demonstration of systematic violence used by the Azerbaijani authorities to subject the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to ethnic cleansing.” He urged the UN to apply “sanctions” against Azerbaijan.

The final speaker was Yashar T. Aliyev, the Representative of Azerbaijan. He repeated the usual lies of the government of Azerbaijan, denying that the Lachin Corridor is blocked.


Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh $917 million of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

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