President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev once again demonstrated his principled position in his annual video address to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly at the level of heads of state and government, touched upon important and topical issues .
This was the President's first address at the UN as the victorious Supreme Commander-in-Chief to the world community after Azerbaijan's glorious victory in the Patriotic War. In his speech, the President of Azerbaijan spoke about Armenia's 30-year policy of aggression, ethnic intolerance, wartime Armenian crimes against humanity, new realities in the South Caucasus during the post-war period, and Armenia's destructive policy. At the same time, the President briefed the participants on the global activities of our country in connection with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to be an international challenge.
In his speech, President Ilham Aliyev exposed Armenian fascism, brought to the attention of the international community the facts of the genocide, the policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis, the establishment of state policy based on the ideology of fascism in Armenia. He noted that, “For about 30 years, Armenia has occupied 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan. The occupation was accompanied by war crimes and crimes against humanity. Armenia committed the Khojaly genocide in 1992, killing hundreds of civilians, including 106 women and 63 children. 1275 Azerbaijanis were taken prisoner, 150 of them are still missing. The Khojaly genocide has been recognized by 13 countries. As a result of ethnic cleansing carried out by Armenia, more than one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and internally displaced persons. "
By highlighting these issues, the head of state alluded to the countries responsible for resolving the conflict and made it clear that they were ignoring the UN charters they had adopted.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in September last year, President Ilham Aliyev raised the issue of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia and the aggressive statements and actions of the Armenian government. "Today, a year later, I am proud to say that Armenia was defeated in the war zone and that Azerbaijan ended the occupation. "
The statement is very relevant and reflects the realities. The point is that exactly one year ago, at the 75th session of the UN, the President of Azerbaijan estimated the possibility of war highly and warned the world not to escalate in the region. "Azerbaijanophobic statements and provocations by the Armenian leadership demonstrate that Armenia is preparing for a new war against Azerbaijan. We call on the UN and the international community to refrain Armenia from further military aggression. "The responsibility for the provocations and the escalation of tensions lies entirely with the military-political leadership of Armenia," the President said a year ago.
Azerbaijan, which warned the UN, especially the Security Council's members at the Minsk Group, during last year's UN session, faced Armenian military aggression a few days later, and the Patriotiic War, which began in response to the aggression, resulted in the liberation of Karabakh and East Zangazur.
An interesting and relevant point today is that, as in many speeches of the President, despite the warning of the 75th session of the UN that the risk of war is at its maximum, the world, especially the co-chairs of the Minsk Group did not take any practical steps and prevent military action to resolve the conflict peacefully.
Today, when the Minsk Group and some of the co-chairs talk about the status of Karabakh and the need for new discussions, it would be better to look back and be ashamed of their immoral policy. The Minsk Group, which currently has no moral right to make any proposals on Karabakh, is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, and after all, it must know that the status of Karabakh will not be the subject of discussion.
Yesterday, President Ilham Aliyev's statement on Karabakh at the UN was a direct response to the statements of the US ambassador to Armenia, certain groups on the other side of the ocean and in the West, such as the status and "resurrection" of the Minsk Group. Touching upon the existing realities, the President stressed: “The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a thing of the past, there is no longer an administrative territorial unit called Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. By the Decree dated July 7, 2021, we have created the economic zones of Karabakh and East Zangazur. I take this opportunity to call on UN member states and the UN Secretariat to refrain from using legally non-existent, politically biased and manipulative names when referring to our territories. "
In general, it should be noted that in all his speeches at the UN, President Ilham Aliyev always sent serious messages to Armenia and its supporters, informing the international community that our country will not reconcile with the occupation factor. It is noteworthy that before the start of the war, the Azerbaijani leader always appealed to the world, called on the hegemons to take a fair position to comply with international law, and showed that Azerbaijan hopes for the victory of diplomacy and law, not power.
Speaking at the 59th session of the UN in September 2004, the President of Azerbaijan said: “From the first days of Azerbaijan's membership in the UN, Azerbaijan has always focused on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia. Our country expected the UN to force the aggressor to withdraw from the occupied territories, thus creating an opportunity for the expelled Azerbaijani citizens to return to their permanent places of residence.
I would like to remind you that in response to the occupation of the territories of sovereign Azerbaijan by Armenia, in 1993 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted four resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884. These resolutions reaffirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an integral part of Azerbaijan and strongly called for respect for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty, its internationally recognized borders, and stressed the inadmissibility of the use of force to acquire territories. UN resolutions demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the provision of conditions for the safe return of displaced persons to their places of permanent residence. None of the resolutions calling for the restoration of peace, justice and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has been implemented by Armenia, which has never recognized and respected the fundamental principles of international law, which form the basis for resolving the conflict. Nagorno-Karabakh, which makes up 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, and seven other regions of Azerbaijan have been occupied by Armenia for more than a decade. As a result of the policy of ethnic cleansing pursued by Armenia, more than one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and internally displaced persons. ... The indifference of the Security Council has a devastating effect on the conflict resolution process. Ignoring the resolutions, trying to consolidate the consequences of military aggression and going unpunished for these actions, Armenia eventually pursued a brutal policy of mass settlement of the Armenian population in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which is another clear violation of the international law, provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. ”
In his speech, the head of state said, "Azerbaijan will never accept the consequences of the occupation of its lands, the violation of its territorial integrity and ethnic cleansing."
During the 65th session of the UN in September 2010, the President recalled that the four resolutions adopted by the UN Security Counci, which fully support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and stressed the inadmissibility of the seizure of lands by force. "The UN also recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and called for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The United Nations General Assembly and other international organizations, including the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, have taken the same position. Unfortunately, despite the unanimous position of the international community, the territories of Azerbaijan continue to be occupied.
"Until now, instead of honest negotiations to find a quick and lasting solution to the conflict, Armenia prefers to aggravate the situation, which in turn can lead to unintended consequences," he said.
The President of Azerbaijan has always expressed with great regret from the UN General Assembly that the resolutions adopted by them have not been implemented over the years, noting that this injustice must be stopped.
Of course, it was incomprehensible to Azerbaijan that after the Second World War, the Organization, which responds to peace and stability on the planet, demonstrated double standards related to the resolutions adopted by it. This is the UN that realized for the implementation of the Security Council resolution on Libya in 2011 within a few hours.
However, at that time, despite the fact that almost two decades had passed, he remained silent about Karabakh.
It is no coincidence that a few years later, during the 72nd session of the UN in September 2017, President Ilham Aliyev called on the global world to take a fair position. He noted: “Armenia has been ignoring UN Security Council resolutions for 24 years and, unfortunately, it is not being punished for it. In some cases, UN Security Council resolutions are implemented within a few days. As for us, the resolutions have not been implemented for 24 years. This is an approach based on a double standard. This approach is unacceptable. International sanctions must be adopted against Armenia. One of the important reforms of the UN should be the establishment of a mechanism for the implementation of Security Council resolutions.
It is obvious that in all his speeches, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev from the first day was in the same position on the settlement of the conflict, the processes taking place in the region, did not back down in principle, showed Armenia and the world community a peaceful solution. However, these warnings and calls of Azerbaijan have remained unanswered over the years, and certain forces have insisted on pursuing their insidious policies.
The result is obvious. Azerbaijan, which won a 44-day war and established justice in international law.
It shows once again that Azerbaijan has many reasons and facts to accuse the world's hegemonic powers. It would be good if these forces, which have not settled the conflict for 30 years, turned a blind eye to the growing of Azerbaijani IDP children in tents, encouraged Armenia to savage our historical monuments, cemeteries and ecology, to do their work and do not disrupt the peace process. At least it would be good if they think about their moral status and political image for the first time.
It also shows how principled and determined the President of Azerbaijan is in protecting the interests of the people, the state, ensuring international law and human rights, and pursuing a consistent policy to eliminate injustice and double standards.
The analysis shows once again that in every speech at the UN sessions, President Aliyev systematically stated that he would not reconcile with the occupation of Azerbaijani lands, and called on the world community to increase its efforts to resolve the problem peacefully. From the first day, the President of Azerbaijan was in the same position, did not change his position, showed Armenia and the world community a peaceful solution to the problem, but these calls remained unanswered. As a result, Armenia was defeated during the Patriotic War, and a new reality emerged in the region. Armenia and international forces have to come to terms with the new reality.
Zaur Mammadov, senior lecturer at the Academy of Public Administration under the President, chairman of the Baku Political Scientists Club