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Humanitarian consequences of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan / Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Reply to Recommendation | Doc. 15662 | 30 November 2022

Committee of Ministers
Adopted at the 1448th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (16 November 2022). 2023 - First part-session
Reply to Recommendation
: Recommendation 2209 (2021)
1. The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2209 (2021) “Humanitarian consequences of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan / Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”.
2. On 16 February 2022, the Ministers’ Deputies adopted the third Action Plan for Azerbaijan (2022-2025), which was officially launched during the Secretary General’s visit to Baku on last 5 April. In addition, at their 1447th meeting (3 November 2022), the Deputies adopted the new Action Plan for Armenia (2023-2026). These action plans, drawn up in close co-operation with the relevant national authorities, aim to assist them in taking strategic reforms forward in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy. They are based on the Council of Europe’s progress reports and recommendations, while also taking into account the reform priorities set out in the national strategy papers and the outcomes of previous action plans. They include activities to safeguard human rights, notably by helping to improve the situation of the most vulnerable, promoting tolerance and combating hate speech.
3. Steering committees were set up for each action plan in order to monitor their implementation and the progress made. Each of these steering committees, composed, inter alia, of representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, from national partners and from the Council of Europe, may, where necessary, make adjustments to the action plans in order to allow for flexibility in their implementation, better respond to the needs of the beneficiaries and take into account developments on the ground, including the humanitarian consequences of the conflict.
4. With regard to confidence-building measures to foster reconciliation between both countries, the Secretary General informed the Committee of Ministers that she had stressed the importance of such efforts during her recent working visits to Azerbaijan (4-5 April 2022) and Armenia (16-17 June 2022). The Secretary General also informed the Committee of Ministers that, on her initiative, a first exploratory meeting between civil society representatives from Armenia and Azerbaijan was held in Venice from 16 to 18 May 2022. The participants agreed to continue this dialogue and to work together on possible joint activities, with the support of the Secretariat.
5. As regards the interim measures ordered by the European Court of Human Rights, the Committee points out that, on 9 March 2021, the Court decided to notify the Committee of Ministers, in accordance with Rule 39 § 2 of the Rules of Court, of a set of interim measures, indicated under Rule 39 of its Rules, concerning alleged Armenian captives, in particular. These interim measures were then brought to the attention of the Committee of Ministers which discussed them.
6. The Committee of Ministers notes that States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights are required to ensure that everyone within their jurisdiction enjoys the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention and that they are collectively responsible for the Convention system and for guaranteeing its effectiveness.
7. The Committee of Ministers took note of the initiatives taken by the Parliamentary Assembly and Council of Europe bodies, in particular the Commissioner for Human Rights, to address the humanitarian consequences of the conflict.