ANC UK Newsletter
March 2023

  • The Artsakh blockade continues as Azerbaijan opens fire with three Artsakh officers killed and more aggression towards civilians
  • ICJ calls on Azerbaijan to open the Lachin Corridor
  • European Parliament adopts reports on EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan relations
  • Take action and write to your MP!
  • UK Ambassador to OSCE urges immediate action regarding Lachin Corridor
  • Chris Law (SNP) comments on the Lachin Corridor closure and shares Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention post
  • ANC UK organises visit with Ealing Council 
  • ANC UK chairperson meets Armenian youth 

*The first three photographs have been taken by Ani Balayan.
Instagram: @dinjkac. Photographer in Artsakh.

The Blockade of Artsakh Continues

It has now been over three months since the life road for Artsakh has been illegally closed by Azerbaijan, trapping over 120,000 people, including women and children, in a severe humanitarian situation. Azeri forces have again opened fire on Armenian farmers in Artsakh.

More punitive actions need to be taken by the international community against Azerbaijan to stop their expansionist policy,  ethnic cleansing and genocidal actions of Baku against indigenous Armenians, we call on the international community to take action in pressuring Azerbaijan to end the blockade of the Lachin Corridor immediately, helping bring peace and security for the people of Artsakh.

The human rights violations against the peaceful population of Artsakh must stop now.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) demands the end of Artsakh’s blockade

The ICJ, also known as the World Court, delivered its judgment on 22 February 2023 on the blockade of the Lachin (Berdzor) corridor, issuing a provisional measure which ordered Azerbaijan to “take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo in both directions” through the vital Lachin corridor.

The judgment is in response to Armenia’s request of 28 December 2022 calling for provisional measures ordering Azerbaijan to open the Lachin Corridor.

Key takeaways from the ICJ’s judgment
  • Azerbaijan is under a legal obligation (Article 94 UN Charter) to implement the provisional measure called for by the ICJ, guaranteeing free movement along the Lachin Corridor.
  • The judgment notes that there have been hindrances into Artsakh of “essential goods, causing shortages of food, medicine and other life-saving medical supplies”. Given that this statement comes from the world’s highest court is indicative that any arguments by Azerbaijan to the opposite effect are groundless.
Significance of the judgment
  • The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and is the world’s highest court.
  • As pointed out by the Lemkin Institute of Genocide Prevention, the ruling can be key in helping ‘protect the fundamental rights of the people in Artsakh, and, hopefully, prevent another Armenian genocide’.
  • The decision of the ICJ is final and is not subject to appeal (Article 60 ICJ Statute).

You can read the ICJ’s full judgment here

Other points to note from the ICJ’s judgment

  • The ICJ unanimously rejected Azerbaijan’s request to apply measures against Armenia under the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
  • Azerbaijan has not only not taken any steps to implement the ICJ’s ruling but has in fact used its Armed forces to open fire and kill three Artsakh police officers, injuring one, in a diversion attempt on 5 March. On 26 March, Azerbaijan shot at peaceful civilians in the villages of Sos and Tagavard while the latter was carrying out agricultural work. As noted by the Artsakh Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan, Azerbaijan’s ignorance of the ICJ’s decision is “an irreversible and discrediting blow to the international human rights architecture that has been consistently developed over the years, as well as to the legal mechanisms designed to guarantee it”.
  • The Artsakh Human Rights Defender further rightly pointed out that “Azerbaijan’s destructive behaviour is a repeatedly proven fact, to which the international community must respond with clear and practical countermeasures, applying sanctions against Azerbaijan and making the recognition of Artsakh people’s right to self-determination as the main element of the future conflict settlement processes at the highest international level”.

European Parliament adopts reports on EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan relations

  • On 15 March, the Plenary of the European Parliament (EP) adopted reports on EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan relations.
  • The reports focus on key points regarding the relations of the EU with Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as address the conflict in Artsakh and the role of the EU in promoting regional stability and peace.
  • In both reports, the EP condemns the military incursions by Azerbaijan into Armenia. The EP also stresses Azerbaijan’s obligations under the ICJ order to open the Lachin corridor. In this context, the EP calls on the EU Council to impose sanctions against Azerbaijani government officials if the order is not immediately implemented.
  • You can read more about the reports here.

Write to your MP!

UK Ambassador to OSCE urges immediate action regarding Lachin Corridor

  • Neil Bush, UK Ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), urged immediate action to be taken in respect of restoring the movement of people and goods into Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
  • He pointed out that parties must engage in substantive negotiations, with preconditions, to secure a sustainable and peaceful settlement to the conflict and to resolve all outstanding tensions.
  • He also pointed out that the UK Government has taken note of the ICJ’s judgment, with the latter further reinforcing the need for urgent action.

Chris Law (SNP) comments on the Lachin Corridor closure and shares Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention post

Chris Law MP for Dundee West (SNP), who is also the Vice Chair of the APPG for Armenia, posted the following comment on his Twitter page:
Over the last year I have seen & been in areas where #Genocide has been carried out. Armenia is one country which experienced genocide at the beginning of the World War 1 by the Ottoman Empire. Below is why we all must act to prevent another today against #Armenia #LachinCorridor”He also shared a useful infographic by the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention on the ICJ’s decision on Armenia v Azerbaijan.We thank Chris Law MP, as well as the other supporters of our cause, for their constant support.

ANC UK organises visit with Ealing Council

On Saturday 4 February, ANC UK organised a visit for Councillor Peter Mason, the leader of the London Borough of Ealing.

During the visit, Peter Mason met the Armenian community of Ealing. We started the day with a visit to the Armenian Saturday School. This was followed by a meeting with the leaders of the community organisations at Navasartian Centre, and, lastly, by a visit to the Homenetmen London Scouts.

ANC UK Chairperson meets Armenian Youth

On Wednesday 25 February, ANC UK Chairperson Annette Moskofian was invited to meet our bright and wonderful young generation of Armenian youth at Homenetmen London.

During the meeting, the ANC UK Chairperson discussed ANC UK and Hay Dat with the Armenian youth.

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