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The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

Recommendation 2260 (2023)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 12 October 2023 (23rd sitting) (see Doc. 15840, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, rapporteur: Mr Domagoj Hajduković). Text adopted by the Assembly on 12 October 2023 (23rd sitting).
1. Referring to Resolution 2517 (2023) “The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh”, the Parliamentary Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to take urgent measures to address and redress the exodus of almost the entire Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and the critical humanitarian and human rights crisis affecting it in the months before and immediately after the military operation launched by Azerbaijan on 19 September 2023. The Assembly is deeply concerned by a situation which seems, at the very least, to invite suspicions of many aspects of ethnic cleansing.
2. Regretting that Azerbaijan has not respected the commitment it undertook when it joined the Council of Europe to peacefully settle the conflict in this region, as stated in Opinion 222 (2000) “Azerbaijan’s application for membership of the Council of Europe”, the Assembly believes that it is not too late for Azerbaijan to redress the situation and prove its intention towards the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
3. To this end, the Assembly requests that the Secretary General and the Committee of Ministers do everything possible to organise a Council of Europe fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan as swiftly as possible, with the aim of assessing and outlining the measures to be put in place to protect the rights of the Armenians of this region, including those who have sought refuge outside the country, and to ensure the safe return of those who wish to do so. Such on-the-ground fact finding would help in determining what support the Council of Europe can provide to this process, including expertise on minority issues and confidence-building measures. This process should doubtless include immediate measures to register and protect the property and assets of those who are currently seeking refuge outside the country and to facilitate access to relevant international or national procedures, in particular in Azerbaijan.
4. The Assembly also calls on the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1 establish country monitoring for Azerbaijan in accordance with the Committee of Ministers Declaration of 10 November 1994 on compliance with commitments accepted by member States of the Council of Europe;
4.2 consider initiating the complementary joint procedure in response to a serious violation by Azerbaijan of its statutory and accession commitments.
5. Acknowledging the huge humanitarian crisis which Armenia is facing with the arrival of more than 100 600 Armenian refugees, the Assembly welcomes the ongoing fact-finding mission to Armenia by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, which aims to determine the support which the Organisation could provide to its member State in assisting these refugees.
6. Recognising the gravity of the situation, the Assembly will remain vigilant as to the next measures taken by the Azerbaijani authorities and the follow-up to Resolution 2517 (2023), basing itself in particular on the need to ensure full and unambiguous honouring of the international commitments and obligations entered into by, and incumbent upon, Azerbaijan.