Azerbaijan’s FM says more proactive UN efforts needed for conflict prevention (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 09:51)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 2

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Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov says there is a need for more proactive efforts from the UN in conflict prevention.

"The deterioration of the security throughout the world especially during the past two decades has increased human sufferings," said Mammadyarov at a high-level thematic debate of the UN General Assembly, titled 'Maintenance of international peace and security', which was held to commemorate the UN's 70th anniversary.

"This has also drained huge resources from the United Nations, which is evident from the significant increase in its peacekeeping activities," he added. "Therefore, there is a need for more proactive efforts by the UN in conflict prevention, mediation and peace building."

Azerbaijani minister also said that since the establishment of the UN, significant achievements have been attained in practical implementation of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

"Throughout this period, the international security environment has changed considerably," he further said, adding that threats have become more complex and interlinked, and the line between traditional and emerging challenges has become blurred.

"The balance of power in international relations has also shifted," said Mammadyarov.

He said it is also observed that the UN Charter's principles guiding inter-state relations are being misinterpreted or implemented with reservations, if not neglected at all, while some of them are being referred to cover up illegal actions - the threat or use of force, territorial acquisitions, and forcible population displacement.

"Double standards in application of the principles contribute to instability, stalemate in conflict settlement processes and have the potential to escalate the situation," said Azerbaijani FM.

Mammadyarov also said Azerbaijan regards the ensuring of coherence and balance among core functions of the UN as a key prerequisite for realization of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

"In international relations, states should make efforts to maintain international peace and security to enable conditions for sustainable development and cooperation and promoting respect for human rights," he added. "The vast majority of human rights violations are directly or indirectly related to armed conflicts and blatant disregard of the norms and principles governing inter-state relations."

"Therefore, it would be appropriate if the United Nations had a reinvigorated approach to addressing international security with the similar perseverance and energy as it rightly embraces on the development agenda," said Mammadyarov.

"Probably, we might consider the idea of setting tangible security goals to improve collective measures on prevention, removing and suppression of aggressions against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, terrorism, violent extremism and other threats to the peace," he added.

The minister also specifically referred to the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"Armenia's destructive policy represents a serious challenge to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and to the organization as a whole," he said. "Armenia continues to use force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of another member state and occupy its territories, to enjoy impunity for mass atrocities against the Azerbaijani civilians, to consolidate the current status quo of the occupation, to disregard the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and to disrupt any attempt to settle the conflict by peaceful means on the basis of international law."

He added that for over 20 years, Azerbaijan has been waiting for effective international actions with respect to Armenia's grave breach of peace and act of aggression.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding 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.

Edited by SI

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