Armenia again slams Azerbaijan over “highest-level” hate-speech and war propaganda -
The hate-speech and war propaganda against Armenia and Armenians at the highest level in Azerbaijan often results in the escalation of the situation and loss of innocent lives, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian charged in a statement made from a high international tribune on Wednesday.
Addressing the High Level Segment of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Nalbandian, in particular, focused on the inadmissibility of the propaganda of hatred on racial, ethnic or religious ground that creates risks leading to the most dangerous.
“The South Caucasus region in the past witnessed and now is witnessing this kind of risks. Such propaganda preceded anti-Armenian massacres in Azerbaijan – in Sumgait, Baku, Maragha and many other places, when thousands of Armenians were tortured, killed, thus starting the ethnic cleansing of Armenians living on the territory of Azerbaijan. Twenty five years later, in today’s Azerbaijan, similar, and even worse hate-speech, war propaganda emanating from the highest level of Azerbaijani authorities often results in the escalation of the situation and loss of innocent lives,” said Nalbandian, according to the official website of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The top Armenian diplomat reminded that the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in its report on Azerbaijan noted with deep concern the “constant and negative official and media discourse concerning the Republic of Armenia” and recommended the Azerbaijani authorities to “adopt an appropriate response to all cases of discrimination and hate speech against Armenians.”
In his speech, Nalbandian also reminded that in 2013 Armenia assumed chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. “The priorities of the Armenian Chairmanship have been defined in response to the challenges that the world faces today with regard to the protection of human rights, strengthening of democracy and respect for the rule of law. Racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance grossly violate human dignity and give rise to tensions within and between societies. That is why the fight against them became one of the main priorities of our chairmanship.”
The Armenian foreign minister also spoke about the right of peoples to self-determination. “In accordance with the founding purposes of the UN Charter, Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes that all peoples have the right to self-determination, which is of particular importance because its realization is an essential prerequisite for the effective guarantee of human rights. This inalienable right unequivocally belongs inter alia to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he underscored.
Speaking on the situation in Syria, Nalbandian welcomed the unanimous adoption by the Security Council of the Resolution that speaks about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid access in Syria, calling to immediately cease attacks against civilians and lift the siege of populated areas. “We welcome all efforts towards the peaceful solution of the crisis. Armenia has already received over 10.000 refugees from Syria, and our Government tries to do its best to assist them,” he said.
In his speech Nalbandian also addressed prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity, stressing that it should be amongst priorities. “Last year, during the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council, Armenia initiated a resolution on Prevention of Genocide, which was adopted by consensus. One of the aims of that Resolution is genocide prevention through joint efforts of the UN Member States. I would like to take this opportunity and thank all those countries that co-sponsored the Resolution,” said Nalbandian.
The Armenian foreign minister reminded that on March 7 the Human Rights Council will convene a high-level panel to mark the 65th Anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. He noted that the panel is organized in accordance with the requirements of the said Resolution and called upon all Member States to actively participate in this important panel discussion.