‘It is Our Duty to Multiply Efforts to Prevent New Genocides, War Crimes’ – Pashinian Says in Opening Remarks at OIF Summit


La Francophonie is making significant efforts for the settlement of conflicts and crises in the Francophone territory, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinian said in his opening remarks at the XVII summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) in Yerevan, Armenia. The PM was addressing the challenges threatening mankind, drawing the attention of heads of state on genocide and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

“At the time when we are preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the UN’s adoption of the convention on prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, it is our duty to multiply our efforts to prevent new genocides, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The consistent existence of these conflicts also obliges us to reiterate our commitment to peaceful settlement of conflicts within the framework of known international negotiations formats,” Pashinian said.

The Armenian PM emphasized that this also concerns the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the negotiations process of which is proceeding in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group’s three co-chair countries – France, United States, and Russia. He noted that it concerns a conflict which is lasting for already decades and has caused numerous sufferings. The PM noted that Azerbaijan is refusing dialogue with Nagorno Karabakh, which for more than 25 years is already exercising its right to self-determination, and its elected representatives. “We are convinced that Nagorno Karabakh should have a decisive voice in the peaceful negotiations process and its status must be decided taking into account the lawfully binding force of the right of free expression of will of the people of Nagorno Karabakh,” he said.

At the same time, the Armenian PM noted that the security issue has a key significance for Nagorno Karabakh. According to the PM, Nagorno Karabakh has become a victim of [Azerbaijan’s] ignoring of its rights, discrimination and atrocities so frequently that the repeated attempts of use of force and [rejection] of dialogue threaten the very physical existence of the people of Nagorno Karabakh.

“We believe that the creation of an atmosphere aimed at peace is of key importance for advancing the settlement process and our entire efforts are aimed that encouraging reaching quick and comprehensive agreements around means of mutual trust, which have vital importance for preparing the populations of all conflicting sides to peace,” he said.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharian