Baku, Azerbaijan, April 1
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has published its Annual Report 2013, according to the organization's official website.
"Under the leadership of the Ukrainian chairmanship, the organization focused in particular on the resolution of protracted conflicts and pushing forward with the Helsinki+40 process towards building a comprehensive, co-operative and indivisible security community," according to the report.
The report also touched upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
It was noted that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of the challenging issues.
"The chairmanship supported the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in promoting dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia to settle this conflict," according to the OSCE report.
The organization also said the search for a lasting political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of the most complex challenges in the OSCE region.
"More than 20 years have passed since conflict broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh, but a lasting and comprehensive political settlement has yet to be achieved," the OSCE said. "Despite the declaration of a ceasefire in 1994, shooting incidents in the area are frequent and violations of the ceasefire are reported on an almost daily basis. Five civilians and 32 servicemen were reported shot and wounded in 2013 and another 14 servicemen killed. In that same period, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk's team visited the Line of Contact 16 times, and the border nine times."
OSCE also said its Parliamentary Assembly provided political leadership for seven election observation missions in 2013 in various countries, one of them being Azerbaijan.
The organization also said, "At the end of the year, the office in Baku transformed into the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Baku, in line with a
Permanent Council decision adopted in July."
"The office continued its concerted efforts to support Azerbaijan in combating domestic violence," according to the OSCE report.
Some two percent or 2.830 million euros were allocated for the Baku office from the organization's budget in 2013.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.