1. The Parliamentary Assembly regrets that, more
than a decade after the armed hostilities started, the conflict over the
Nagorno-Karabakh region remains unsolved. Hundreds of thousands of people
are still displaced and live in miserable conditions. Considerable parts of
the territory of Azerbaijan are still occupied by Armenian forces, and
separatist forces are still in control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
2. The Assembly expresses its concern that the
military action, and the widespread ethnic hostilities which preceded it,
led to large-scale ethnic expulsion and the creation of mono-ethnic
areas which resemble the terrible concept of ethnic cleansing. The Assembly
reaffirms that independence and secession of a regional territory from a
state may only be achieved through a lawful and peaceful process based on
the democratic support of the inhabitants of such territory and not in the
wake of an armed conflict leading to ethnic expulsion and the de facto
annexation of such territory to another state. The Assembly reiterates that
the occupation of foreign territory by a member state constitutes a grave
violation of that states obligations as a member of the Council of Europe
and reaffirms the right of displaced persons from the area of conflict to
return to their homes safely and with dignity.
3.The Assembly recalls Resolutions 822
(1993), 853 (1993),
874 (1993) and
884 (1993) of the United Nations
Security Council and urges the parties concerned to comply with them, in
particular by refraining from any armed hostilities and by withdrawing
military forces from any occupied territories. The Assembly also aligns
itself with the demand expressed in Resolution 853 of the United Nations
Security Council and thus urges all member states to refrain from the supply
of any weapons and munitions which might lead to an intensification of the
conflict or the continued occupation of territory.
4. The Assembly recalls that both Armenia and
Azerbaijan committed themselves upon their accession to the Council of
Europe in January 2001 to use only peaceful means for settling the conflict,
by refraining from any threat of using force against their neighbours. At
the same time, Armenia committed itself to use its considerable influence
over Nagorno-Karabakh to foster a solution to the conflict. The Assembly
urges both governments to comply with these commitments and refrain from
using armed forces against each other and from propagating military action.
5. The Assembly recalls that the Council of
Ministers of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE)
agreed in Helsinki in March 1992 to hold a conference in Minsk in order to
provide a forum for negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, the former Czech and Slovak Federal Republic,
France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, Sweden, Turkey and the
United States of America agreed at that time to participate in this
conference. The Assembly calls on these states to step up their efforts to
achieve the peaceful resolution of the conflict and invites their national
delegations to the Assembly to report annually to the Assembly on the action
of their government in this respect. For this purpose, the Assembly asks its
Bureau to create an ad hoc committee comprising, inter alia, the
heads of these national delegations.
6. The Assembly pays tribute to the tireless efforts
of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the
OSCE Chairman-in-Office, in particular for having achieved a ceasefire in
May 1994 and having constantly monitored the observance of this ceasefire
since then. The Assembly calls on the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to take
immediate steps to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a
political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict. The
implementation of this agreement will eliminate major consequences of the
conflict for all parties and permit the convening of the Minsk Conference.
The Assembly calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to make use of the OSCE
Minsk Process and to put forward to each other, via the Minsk Group, their
constructive proposals for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in
accordance with the relevant norms and principles of international law.
7. The Assembly recalls that Armenia and Azerbaijan
are signatory parties to the Charter of the United Nations and, in
accordance with Article 93, paragraph 1 of the Charter, ipso facto
parties to the statute of the International Court of Justice. Therefore, the
Assembly suggests that if the negotiations under the auspices of the
co-chairs of the Minsk Group fail, Armenia and Azerbaijan should consider
using the International Court of Justice in accordance with Article 36,
paragraph 1 of its statute.
8. The Assembly calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to
foster political reconciliation among themselves by stepping up bilateral
inter-parliamentary co-operation within the Assembly as well as in other
forums such as the meetings of the speakers of the parliaments of the
Caucasian Four. It recommends that both delegations should meet during each
part-session of the Assembly to review progress on such reconciliation.
9. The Assembly calls on the Government of
Azerbaijan to establish contact, without preconditions, with the political
representatives of both communities from the Nagorno-Karabakh region
regarding the future status of the region. It is prepared to provide
facilities for such contacts in Strasbourg, recalling that it did so in the
form of a hearing on previous occasions with Armenian participation.
10. Recalling its
Recommendation 1570 (2002) on the situation of refugees and
displaced persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the Assembly calls on
all member and Observer states to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to
the hundreds of thousands of people displaced as a consequence of the armed
hostilities and the expulsion of ethnic Armenians from Azerbaijan and ethnic
Azerbaijanis from Armenia.
11. The Assembly condemns any expression of hatred
portrayed in the media of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Assembly calls on
Armenia and Azerbaijan to foster reconciliation and to restore confidence
and mutual understanding among their peoples through schools, universities
and the media. Without such reconciliation, hatred and mistrust will prevent
stability in the region and may lead to new violence. Any sustainable
settlement must be preceded by and embedded in such a reconciliation
12. The Assembly calls on the Secretary General of
the Council of Europe to draw up an action plan for support to Armenia and
Azerbaijan targeted at mutual reconciliation processes, and to take this
resolution into account in deciding on action concerning Armenia and
13. The Assembly calls on the Congress of Local and
Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to assist locally elected
representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan in establishing mutual contacts
and interregional co-operation.
14. The Assembly resolves to analyse the
conflict-settlement mechanisms existing within the Council of Europe, in
particular the European Convention for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes,
in order to provide its member states with better mechanisms for the
peaceful settlement of bilateral conflicts as well as internal disputes
involving local or regional territorial communities or authorities which may
endanger human rights, stability and peace.
15. The Assembly resolves to continue monitoring on
a regular basis the evolution of this conflict towards its peaceful
resolution and decides to reconsider this issue at its first part-session in
1. Assembly debate
on 25 January 2005 (2nd Sitting) (see
report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Atkinson).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 January 2005 (2nd Sitting).