Doc. 9650

8 January 2003

“Metsamor” – A source of dangers for the environment and human rights

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mr Huseynov and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

      Azerbaijan, for which 20 % of its territories is under occupation, has also been subjected to continuous ecological aggression for 14 years by Armenia. If the occupation of the territories has turned one million people to refugees and IDPs and put them in a difficult situation, the ecological catastrophes caused by the aggressor directed against the occupied territories, and on the whole against Azerbaijan, constitute threats to the life of millions of people. Today, in different countries of the world, five kinds of nuclear reactors are used. However, as the water – graphitic – channeled reactor in the “Metsamor” Nuclear Power Station of the Republic of Armenia lags behind the other reactors from the point of security, it is not used in any developed country. The accident in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station too was caused by such reactors.

      Soon after the Council of Europe expert commission’s observations in “Metsamor” in 2002, an accident happened in one of the reactors of the station and the work of the Nuclear Power Station was suspended. Although more than once it was expressed in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe documents that this station situated in the seismically active zone is a source of serious danger for all the region (Doc. 9148 of 27/06/01; Doc. 9336 of 31/01/02; Doc. 9444 of 07/05/02) unfortunately, after the accident, a while later the station was again started up. A number of earthquakes happened in Armenia in the second half of January 2002 and thus the forecasts given by the seismologists about a stronger earthquake to happen there necessitate the closing down of the “Metsamor” without delay. It is inevitable that “Metsamor”, with out-of date devices causing such accidents in normal situations, would turn to weapon of mass destruction against the lives of not only the population of Armenia, but also of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and some other countries.

      As Armenia is situated in the seismically active zone it cannot bury the radioactive waste in its territory with traditional methods. Therefore this waste is buried in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, mainly in the territory of the district of Aghdam. Thus, these lands have turned to dead zones, to potentially prepared sources of serious danger against the lives ant the health of refugees and IDPs who have to return to these lands in the future. Increase of different radiated diseases, nuclear-based tuberculosis, and other rare and incurable diseases amongst the soldiers of the Armenian army involved in the burial of the nuclear waste in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan merely demonstrates the growing scope of these operations.

      All these catastrophes directed against the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as a whole against the region and its environment subsequently, are a danger against the right to life – the supreme right of millions of people in the South Caucasus and in its surrounding areas.

      The Assembly insistently stresses the importance of the discussion of this problem in the appropriate committees and the necessity to prepare a report regarding the ecological problems constituting a threat to the lives of people in the South Caucasus.

      It recommends to the Committee of Ministers to undertake the necessary measures by uniting the efforts of the member states to close down the “Metsamor” Nuclear Power Station and to eliminate the sources causing a threat to the lives of the population of Azerbaijan and as well as those of the South Caucasus region.

Signed : 1

Huseynov, Azerbaijan, LDR

Clerfayt, Belgium, LDR

Crema, Italy, SOC

Daly, Ireland, LDR

Dokle, Albania, SOC

Etherington, United Kingdom, SOC

Fehr, Switzerland, LDR

Grissemann, Austria, NR

Kelemen, Romania, EPP

Mauro, Italy, EPP

Meale, United Kingdom, SOC

Reimann, Switzerland, LDR

Timmermans, Belgium, SOC

Wray, United Kingdom, SOC

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group