22 September 1992

Doc. 6678

MOTION FOR AN ORDER

on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

presented by Mr ATKINSON and others


1.       In pursuit of their right to self-determination, the situation for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh has deteriorated sharply as a result of four years of economic blockade and of the constant and increasing military agression by Azerbaijan.

2.       The indiscriminate use of aerial bombing and GRAD missiles on the civilian population has led to the loss of more than a thousand lives, thousands of casulties, the displacement of a great many families whose homes have been destroyed, the destruction of hospitals and schools, and the deprivation of the basic necessities of life: water, sanitation, food, medical supplies, electricity and fuel for the majority of the 180 000 population of Nagorno-Karabakh.

3.       Now, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh face the loss of this year's harvest and the impending winter without heat and other essential supplies. The need for effective and direct international humanitarian aid and relief is clear and immediate.

4.       Recent Azeri offensives into Nagorno-Karabakh have resulted in entire villages being destroyed, with civilians massacred and children raped. Christian churches, shrines and cemeteries are particular targets for Azeri desecration.

5.       The clear superiority of the Azeri forces in terms of manpower, arms and equipment, supplies of fuel and food, missile launching and aerial bombing capabilities compared with those of Nagorno-Karabakh means that it can only be a matter of weeks - if not sooner - before the enclave is overrun. Without any evidence of effective international restraint on Azerbaijan to date, the fear of genocide and/or expulsion that would follow is entirely understandable.

6.       Such aggression, representing denials of human rights, of the protection of minority rights, and of the principle of self-determination, is a total violation of the Helsinki principles of the CSCE, of which Azerbaijan is now a member state, and of those upheld by the Council of Europe with which she has applied for special guest status.

7.       In view of what they have experienced during these past four years of Azeri blockade and aggression, it is now clear that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will never willingly accept re-occupation by Azeri forces or re-incorporation into Azerbaijan. All negotiations on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh must take account of this.

8.       Taking all these factors into account, the Assembly urges:

i.       its Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography to investigate and report on the humanitarian aspects of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as a matter of urgency;

ii.       its Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries to send a fact-finding visit to Nagorno-Karabakh as soon as possible as part of its consideration of the application for special guest status by Azerbaijan;

iii.       its Committee on Culture and Education to investigate and report on the destruction of, and continuing threat to the Armenian Christian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh;

iv.       the Bureau to express a favourable opinion on the holding of an emergency debate on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh during its forthcoming part-session.

Signed:       ATKINSON, AGUIAR, BÖHM, BRENNAN, BRITO, CUCÓ, EISMA, FRANCK, FIANDROTTI, FLÜCKIGER, GASSNER, GHESQUIERE, GRUSSENMEYER, GUIRADO, HADJIDEMETRIOU, HUNT, IWINSKI, KOVÁCS, LITHERLAND, MARSHALL, MOCZULSKI, O'BRIEN, PAHTAS, PARISI, A. PROBST, RATHBONE, ROBERT, RUFFY, SÄRKIJÄRVI, SEVERINSEN, TERNAK, WILLOCH.