The peaceful development of the South Caucasus States plays a great role in the stability of the region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. However, 20 years after the independence of these States and 17 years since the ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan was brokered, there is still no positive move on the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. About 20 % of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts, remain occupied by a foreign power.
Over 586,000 persons remain internally displaced in Azerbaijan, almost half of whom have been born to IDP families since they fled their homes. Insecurity near the line of contact with Armenia continues to disrupt the livelihoods of IDPs and others who live nearby. Despite the various efforts that the Azerbaijani government has made to improve the living conditions and develop local integration strategies, return remains the preferred settlement option of the vast majority of IDPs and the government.
The Nagorno-Karabakh problem remains urgent and demands special attention from the Parliamentary Assembly, for it continues, inter alia, to deprive the IDPs and refugees of their right to inviolability of property, property rights and integrity of the individual. The Assembly should seek to examine, within the ongoing conflict resolution process, the situation of illegal settlement in the occupied territories and demand more resolutely that justice be restored for the displaced persons who wish to return in line with Resolution 1416 (2005). The displaced persons themselves should be allowed to have their say about their future.