On September 26, CSI’s Joel Veldkamp delivered a statement about Nagorno Karabakh at the 54th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geveva. He spoke during the general debate on human rights situations that require the attention of the Council.
“Christian Solidarity International wishes to draw the attention of the Council to the Republic of Azerbaijan’s ethnic and religious cleansing of the former Nagorno Karabakh autonomous oblast, home to an indigenous population of 120,000 Armenian Christians.
“Last week, after nine months of blockade that left the population hungry and bereft of a functioning healthcare system, Azerbaijan launched an all-out attack on the territory, shelling civilian population centers and driving nearly half of the population out of their homes. Russian peacekeepers are now working with Azerbaijan to evacuate the entire Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh. Under these circumstances of extreme duress, these evacuations have the character of forced deportations.
“After Azerbaijan’s blockade began in December, CSI issued a genocide warning for Nagorno Karabakh. In August, Mr. Luis Ocampo, the first chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, stated that genocide was already underway in Nagorno Karabakh. “Nevertheless, the world community did not respond by fulfilling its obligation under international law to prevent genocide. Even now, Azerbaijan has faced no consequences for its aggression. Azerbaijan’s most powerful economic and security partners bear complicity in this act of ethnic cleansing.
“We call on all UN member states to condemn the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh, to extend assistance to the refugees, and to work to prevent further violence and dispossession in the region.”