CALL FOR CEASEFIRE IN NAGORNO-KARABACH
We, UNITED for Intercultural Action, No Hate Speech Network, Prague Spring 2, Youth Center “Perspektiva”, IMPRESS, Alliance for Labour and Solidarity, Activists for Peace, Human Rights Association, APICE and YAN express deep and grave concerns over the escalating violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
We welcome the ceasefire agreement negotiated in Moscow following trilateral talks between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on October 10, as proposed by the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, France and the United States). We denounce the violation of the ceasefire, which shows the severeness of the conflict, and call for enhanced diplomatic efforts to create lasting peace in the region.
We also draw attention to the concern expressed by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s Monitoring Committee, which has deplored the inflammatory rhetoric by the Turkish government as well as its direct involvement in the conflict.
The 30 year conflict has recently kicked up again to a critically dangerous level. Since the 27th of September, over a 100 civilian lives have been lost and villages, towns and ancient cultural heritage sites have faced shelling, cluster munitions, and severe casualties. With both sides pointing fingers, using rhetoric, and refusing responsibility, this situation is only escalating.
This conflict, which dates back to the fall of the Soviet Union, originates from a dispute over which country claims the Karabakh region after the collapse of the USSR. This has previously escalated to a full-scale war in the 1990s. Negotiations regarding the region have been ongoing since 1994, and this entire period has been marked with pockets of violence. However, none have been as grave and prolonged as the one now, and we are seriously concerned about the risks of this escalating into an all out war.
Violence, war, and casualties are never the answer. There are innocent mothers, fathers, children, siblings, families at stake, who did not ask for this.
Non-violent solutions to conflicts must be supported more strongly. We therefore call on the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to cease fire, participate in dialogue instead of fighting, and to develop non-violent solutions moving forward. We support the call by the International Peace Bureau to a renewed push by the OSCE peace talks, which began in 1994, but quickly stalled. We also support the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ repeated calls for a global ceasefire in these times of global crisis. Any involvement of third parties should be in harmony with efforts of the international community to de-escalate the tension and return to the table of negotiations.
We express deep solidarity with those affected on the ground, those who have lost their loved ones, their homes and livelihoods. We support all those providing humanitarian, psychosocial, and material support.
This is co-issued by:
UNITED for Intercultural Action
Prague Spring 2
No Hate Speech Network
Youth Center “Perspektiva”
Activists for Peace
Alliance for Labour and Solidarity
Human Rights Association
If you wish to support the statement, we invite you to sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/osce-immediate-ceasefire-with-no-condition-between-azerbaijan-and-armenia .