ANC UK Newsletter No 25

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from ANC UK!
  • Genocide warning as Azerbaijan blocks the Berdzor corridor connecting Artsakh with Armenia.
  • This year at a glance.

Armenian National Committee UK wishes you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you for your support of the Armenian Cause!

Genocide warning as Azerbaijan continues to block the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia.

Azerbaijan has been imposing a blockade on Artsakh and its 120,000 Armenian residents since 12 December 2022 by blocking the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor, which is the only road connecting Artsakh with Armenia.

As Artsakh is under a complete blockade, this prevents food, medicine and other vital goods from transiting to the population of Artsakh. The supplies of food and medicine have already started to run out, a humanitarian catastrophe is imminent. One of the seriously ill patients in need of medical care has died due to the Azerbaijani blockade as it was impossible to transport him to Yerevan. Many other patients, including children, are currently in intensive care – it is critical that the Berdzor corridor be opened for them to obtain critical medical supplies.

The government of Azerbaijan has long promoted official hate speeches and animosity towards  Armenians, fostering impunity for atrocities committed against Armenians. The blockade is a violation of international humanitarian rights and risks causing a genocide of the Armenian population of Artsakh as the risk factors for atrocity crimes under the Genocide Convention are met. The blockade is also a violation of Point 6 of the 9 November 2020 trilateral ceasefire statement, under which Azerbaijan had assumed an obligation to allow for communications along the Berdzor corridor to remain under the control of the peacekeeping contingent of Russia. As Azerbaijan has violated this provision, it is in breach of its international obligations assumed under the ceasefire agreement.

We call on Azerbaijan to immediately stop the illegal blockade of the Berdzor corridor. To this effect, we wrote to James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, urging the UK government to condemn Azerbaijan’s criminal policy of eradication of the Armenian population of Artsakh and sanction Azerbaijan. The humanitarian crisis created needs a political solution in order to uphold the self-determination rights of Artsakh.

We thank the members of the APPG for Armenia and our other allies for their support. In particular, we thank Tim Loughton (Chairman of the APPG for Armenia) for questioning the Foreign Secretary and writing a strong letter calling for action, Chris Law for constantly raising issues on Azerbaijan’s aggression, Rupa Huq for warning about crimes of Genocide, Jessica Morden (Vice Chair of the APPG for Armenia) for condemning the actions taken by Azerbaijan, Alex Sobel for questioning the Foreign Secretary on the matter, Baroness Cox for sending letters to the Foreign Secretary and Lord Alton for raising important questions to His Majesty’s Government regarding the situation in Artsakh and the atrocities committed against the Armenian population. We also thank Lord McInnes Kilwinning for sending a question to the Foreign Secretary on what the government has done about Azerbaijan blocking the corridor and violating the peace agreement and Fiona Bruce for asking for humanitarian aid for Artsakh. Stephen Doughty the Shadow Foreign Minister has also called on Azerbaijan to end the blockade and stop the humanitarian crisis caused as a result.

Through Baroness Cox’s efforts and Christian Solidarity International, a very important document was prepared, called “GENOCIDE WARNING: NAGORNO KARABAKH”.

ANC UK has and continues to work very hard to raise this issue amongst the parliamentarians and different government departments, by sending regular briefings, letters and holding meetings.

We ask you to please send a letter to your MP using the template of the ANC UK Statement:

The Year in a glance for Armenian advocacy in the UK for 2022

It has been another fruitful year for our advocacy in the UK, thanks to your support and to the support of our ever-growing APPG for Armenia.

The strength of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Armenia

The APPG for Armenia has doubled its numbers since its relaunch in 2020. The APPG promotes positive relations between the UK and Armenia and raises awareness around important issues. We have had the pleasure of holding regular meetings with the group members of the APPG for Armenia, including the recently held annual general meeting during which new officers of the APPG were elected. We also had a cross-party delegation in March-April 2022 as well as held various events including a screening of the documentary film «The Hidden Map» in Parliament, an Afternoon Tea at the House of Lords, and an event for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

The Chairman of the APPG is Tim Loughton, a Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham. We thank the APPG for Armenia for their constant support, for raising awareness of issues which are often otherwise unheard and neglected, and for constantly calling the government to keep Azerbaijan accountable for atrocities committed. We believe that our work with the APPG for Armenia is crucial in the Armenian Genocide recognition and self-determination rights of Artsakh and look forward to another fruitful year of cooperation with the APPG for Armenia in 2023!

To support our efforts please donate to ANC UK

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The Security of Artsakh and Armenia

As both Artsakh and Armenia have been subject to several security threats throughout 2022, we have worked hard to raise awareness of these issues by sending regular briefings to parliamentarians and the Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Office, as well as by raising awareness among the UK community and organising campaigns calling MPs for action.

We strongly believe that the people of Artsakh must have a right to self-determination, and we support the peaceful resolution of the conflict. We call for Azerbaijan to stop its continuous aggression towards Artsakh and Armenia. As the most pressing issue facing the very survival of the population of Artsakh today is the blockage of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, it is our demand that Azerbaijan immediately stops the blockade of the Berdzor corridor, as well as leaves the sovereign territory of Armenia which has been encroached by 140 square kilometres and the releases all POWs.

Work on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide 

On 28 October 2022, a Genocide Determination Bill sponsored by Lord David Alton was given a Second Reading in the House of Lords. Peers of the House of Lords agreed to commit the Bill to a committee of the whole House for further consideration.

In his speech, Lord Alton pointed out that although 2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, we are nowhere near having made clear mechanisms for helping deliver on the duty to prevent future genocides.

Lord Ara Darzi made a powerful speech, pointing out that most European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, and the US have already recognised the Armenian Genocide. He further pointed out that a stake must be set in the ground by the UK to recognise the Armenian genocide – not just for the Armenians but for people all over the world.

You can watch Lord Darzi’s full speech here:

Strengthening of deeper ties

ANC UK is looking forward to building stronger ties with the Cypriot, Kurdish and other community representatives in the UK. We also look forward to another year of advocating on behalf of the Armenian community in the United Kingdom.

Recent news: ANC UK attends annual ANC conference in Brussels, Europe

Representatives of the ANC UK committee recently attended an annual ANC Europe conference held in Brussels, Belgium organised by European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy. The conference was attended by representatives of ANC committees from ten European countries, resulting in very fruitful discussions about the successes and challenges faced by the committees in each of the countries and steps and how to tackle them. The main topic of discussion was the security and the future of Artsakh. Attendees discussed targets for ANC committees in Europe for the next for promoting the Armenian Cause, recognition of the Armenian Genocide and working on ensuring the security of Armenia and Artsakh. ANC UK took a number of points away from the conference and is looking forward to implementing the knowledge gained during the conference in promoting the Armenian Cause in 2023.

We thank everyone for their continued support and urge the UK Government to condemn and sanction Azerbaijan for its gross violations of international law and peace.

Please give today to help our campaigns
To continue our ever-growing work in lobbying we urgently need funds to have paid staff. All our efforts are done on a voluntary basis. Please donate so we can carry on working for the Armenian Cause and raise concerns of the British Armenian community.

Why Donate?

The Armenian National Committee of the United Kingdom (ANC-UK) is the largest and most influential British-Armenian political grassroots organisation.

Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Britain and affiliated organisations around the world, ANC-UK actively advances the concerns of the British-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.

The work achieved by ANC-UK is currently on a volunteer basis. However, we are hopeful that in the coming years through the financial support of our community, the ANC-UK chapter will have the necessary funds to open a full-time office employing an Executive Director and a part-time Administrative Assistant.

Setting up an ANC-UK office will allow for our organisation’s goals to be achieved as they have been throughout the diaspora in the United States of America, Canada, Australia and Europe.

As a grassroots organisation, we rely upon you, our community and friends for financial assistance to advance our cause. Your donations support our goal of having a full-time office, to advocate on issues important to all British-Armenians and the Armenian cause.

Thank you for your consideration of our request for your support.

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