Experts: Appointment of UN special envoy for Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will have positive political value

Experts: Appointment of UN special envoy for Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will have positive political value

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 14 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /

The appointment of the special representative of the UN Secretary-General for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will have a positive political significance in resolving the long-standing territorial dispute, experts say.

"The appointment of a UN Special Representative n Nagorno-Karabakh is a positive development," the Senior Fellow at the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, DC.,

Mark Katz, said. "Particularly, If a UN Special Representative can even help prevent the situation from getting worse."

The UN must appoint a special representative for the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the president of Latvia from 1999 to 2007 and special envoy to the UN Secretary General and Vice-Chairman of the Group of Experts on the long-term development of the European Union, told media in Baku.

She said that the appointment of a special representative could accelerate the settlement of the conflict.

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 the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

According to experts, the appointment of special representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will have a positive political significance.

"The presence of such a representative could play a certain role in the constant awareness of UN about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and reminding Armenia that it is important to consider international law in addressing the problem," MP Aydin Mirzazade told Trend

The UN special envoy was set to be appointed when the OSCE Minsk Group was created and given a specific mandate to resolve Armenia-Azerbaijan conflicts in 1992, MP Zahid Oruj told Trend.

"The OSCE has not conducted any work to resolve conflicts in the region in the recent past," Oruj added.

Oruj said the model that the OSCE Minsk Group put forward and approved should be guaranteed through the UN in the future.

"The creation and deployment of peacekeeping forces, the exact format of their activities, the timing of their visit - everything is in the power of UN which is responsible for ensuring the security of the world," Oruj said.

However, some experts believe such appointment does not guarantee the usefulness of the peace process.

Katz said the appointment a UN Special Representatives for other conflicts has not necessarily led to their resolution.  "There is no guarantee, then, that appointing one for Nagorno-Karabakh will lead to a resolution either," he said.

"Being a pessimist myself, I really don't think that much more will be possible for anyone appointed to this position. At the same time such an appointment would have a positive political significance," Katz wrote Trend in an e-mail.

Russian expert on the CIS Vladimir Zharikhin believes the appointment of UN Special Representative on Nagorno-Karabakh, of course, has a positive political message.

Unfortunately, the UN activities do not have practical justification in recent times, he said. "The main issues of the conflict will again be addressed within the OSCE Minsk Group  directly with the presidents of the parties, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan," Deputy Director of the CIS Institute Zharikhin told Trend over the telephone.

He said the work should be done in a format of a bilateral and multilateral peace process, including the active participation of Russia, as a mediator recognized by both parties.

M.Aliyev contributed to the article.

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