Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948, the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, international humanitarian and human rights law, as well as the UN General Assembly resolution of 1974 on the Definition of Aggression, the UN General Assembly resolution of 2005 on the Responsibility to Protect Populations from Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes Against Humanity, the Declaration On the Proclamation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic dated 2 September 1991, results of the national referendum on the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) from 10 December 1991, the Declaration On State Independence of NKR, adopted by the Supreme Council of NKR on 6 January 1992, the indefinite cease-fire agreement between the parties to the conflict dated 12 May 1994, the document adopted at the first meeting of the OSCE Senior Council on 31 March 1995, the trilateral statement “On Cessation of All Hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh” signed by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on 9 November 2020, the decision of the European Court of Human Rights dated 21 December 2022, the resolution of the European Parliament “On the Humanitarian Consequences of the Blockade of the Lachin Corridor” dated 19 January 2023, the Orders of the International Court of Justice dated 22 February 22 and (reaffirmed) 6 July 2023, the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of 22 June 2023;
Strongly condemning the ongoing violations by Azerbaijan of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020;
Bearing in mind that Azerbaijan has yet to fulfil its obligations to release Armenian prisoners of war and civilian hostages, and continues to prevent the return of internally displaced persons to Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas, which, according to the provisions of the Trilateral Statement, should have taken place under the control of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees;
Reaffirming that since the signing of the Trilateral Statement, threats from Azerbaijan against the civilian population of Artsakh not only did not decrease, but increased significantly;
The National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh states the following:
On 30 January 1992, Azerbaijan, along with Armenia, took on specific commitments upon becoming a participating State of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE/OSCE). The CSCE recognised the sovereignty of these countries on the condition that they, in turn, acknowledged the existing disagreement over the ownership of Nagorno-Karabakh and agreed that the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh would be determined at an international conference to be held under the auspices of the CSCE. Both states gave their consent, undertaking to resolve the conflict by peaceful means;
Azerbaijan, in violation of its obligations, initiated a large-scale aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh). In response, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) organised self-defence effort and demonstrated resolute resistance, successfully defending its independence in the war initiated by Azerbaijan in 1992-1994. In May 1994, Azerbaijan was compelled to sign with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) an agreement "On a complete cessation of fire and hostilities", which was acknowledged and recognised by the international community;
On 2 April 2016, the Republic of Azerbaijan, in violation of the norms of international law and disrupting the years-long negotiation process for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, again launched a large-scale military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh), which was halted through the intervention of the Russian Federation;
Despite the trilateral ceasefire agreement, on 27 September 2020, Azerbaijan again resorted to large-scale military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) with the full support and direct control of Turkey, and the involvement of thousands of recruited terrorists from various countries in the Middle East, which came to an end on 9 November 2020 following the signing of the trilateral statement “On cessation of all hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh” by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan;
On 12 December 2022, a group of Azerbaijanis, disguised as “ecologists”, following the instructions and co-ordination of the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan, infiltrated the area under the responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping forces at the intersection of the Shushi-Karintak road and blocked the Lachin Corridor, the only existing overland connection between the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and the Republic of Armenia, thus disrupting the supply of electricity and gas through this territory;
On 21 December 2022, the European Court of Human Rights decided to indicate an interim measure requiring Azerbaijan to take all measures that are within their jurisdiction to ensure safe passage through the “Lachin Corridor” of seriously ill persons in need of medical treatment in Armenia and others who were stranded on the road without shelter or means of subsistence;
On 22 February 2023, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an order requiring Azerbaijan to take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions, which was reaffirmed again on 6 July;
Ignoring the provisions set forth in the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, as well as the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights dated 21 December 2022 and the orders of the International Court of Justice issued on 22 February and 6 July 2023, on 23 April of this year, Azerbaijan illegally established a checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor, thereby exacerbating the blockade, and starting from 15 June, completely besieged the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh).
As a result of such inhumane actions, around 120,000 peaceful residents in Artsakh, including 30,000 children, are now facing a real threat of ethnic cleansing from Azerbaijan, approximately 30,000 forced displaced individuals still do not have the opportunity to return to their places of permanent residence.
By pursuing an explicit goal of de-Armenisation and forcibly annexing Artsakh, Azerbaijan, in flagrant violation of international law, is consistently and unlawfully occupying new territories of the Republic of Artsakh in conditions of complete impunity, periodically shells Armenian populated areas, causing death and terror among the civilian population, disrupts their normal livelihoods and creates unbearable conditions for the residents, simultaneously engaging in acts of vandalism against Armenian historical and cultural heritage.
The population of the besieged Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) is facing the threat of being deprived of their homeland and experiencing genocidal actions perpetrated by the Azerbaijani authorities.
Taking into account the policy of genocide pursued by Azerbaijan in Artsakh and the grave existential threats faced by its population, the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh, as the supreme representative body endowed with the primary mandate of the people of Artsakh, expressing the will and position of the entire population of the republic.
Calls upon the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council, parliaments, and member states of the United Nations, as well as the co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group:
Guided by the principle of the right to self-determination of peoples enshrined in the UN Charter and taking as a basis the Declaration on the Proclamation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic of 2 September 1991, the results of the national Referendum on Independence held on 10 December 1991, the law of the Supreme Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) “On the Foundations of the Independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” adopted on 6 January 1992, and the decision of the Supreme Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) “On the Approval of the Text of the Declaration of State Independence of NKR” of 6 January 1992;
To recognise the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh).
It is indisputable that there are all necessary grounds for recognition of independence. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) exercised its right to self-determination without violating the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the USSR and the law of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR “On the Procedure for the Secession of Union Republics from the USSR” dated 3 April 1990. According to this law, “the peoples of autonomous republics and autonomous entities retain the right to independently decide the question of remaining within the USSR or within the seceding Union republic, and also to raise the question of their state and legal status, in accordance with international law.
We are more than confident that the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) by UN member states will serve as a reliable guarantee of security for our people, will contribute to the creation of favourable conditions for their normal livelihood in their historical homeland and ensure stability, long-term and lasting peace in the South Caucasus region.
We are deeply convinced that the only way to prevent the impending tragedy is to recognise the independence of the Republic of Artsakh based on the principle of “REMEDIAL RECOGNITION OF INDEPENDENCE”
27 July 2023