Oskanian Tells UN Genocide Must be Prevented, not Commemorated

UNITED NATIONS (Yerkir)–Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian addressed the 62nd UN General Assembly on Wednesday where he made an appeal on behalf of small countries for the international community to put aside differences and tackle global issues, including the ongoing Genocide in Darfur. Minister Oskanian also made clear that the UN is not the forum to discuss the Karabakh conflict.
“When Darfur becomes shorthand for hopelessness, we in the small corners of the world realize that power has become a substitute for responsibility,” Oskanian said in his address to the UN General Assembly.
“The ubiquitous language of human rights cannot compensate for political will. Genocide must be prevented, not commemorated,” he said. “Generation after generation, we find new names for man’s appalling tolerance for what we think are inhuman machinations, new names for the places of horror, slaughter, massacre, indiscriminate killing of all those who have belonged to a segment, a category, an ethnic group, a race or a religion.”
“Nearly 100 years ago, for Armenia’s it was Deir-El-Zor. For the next generation, it was Auschwitz, then the killing fields of the Cambodians. And most recently Rwanda. If in each of those cases, together with genocide, these names evoked ignorance, helplessness, wartime cover, today Darfur is synonymous with expediency, evasion and simple inconvenience. Darfur is synonymous with shame,” he continued.
“My appeal, on behalf of small countries, is that the international community tackle each of these problems in their own right, for their own sake, and not as pieces in a global power puzzle,” said Oskanian.
“When tensions among the world’s great powers grow, there is an increase in polarization and a decrease in the effectiveness of the hard-earned–and costly–policies of complementarity and balance of small countries. Our own room to maneuver, to participate in global solutions, diminishes,” the Minister said.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which was included, under the topic of protracted conflicts, on the agenda of this General Assembly session was also discussed by Oskanian, who highlighted, during his speech, that “any resolution that places all conflicts in one pot is necessarily flawed.”
“Each of these conflicts is different,” he said. The Nagorno Karabakh conflict;should not be discussed at the UN, because it is being negotiated in the OSCE.”
“First, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not frozen. We continue to negotiate and we are inching towards resolution,” he said. Second, there is a well-developed negotiating document on the table, based not on wishful thinking but on the core issue and the consequential issues. Together, they add up to a balanced solution,” he added.
“At the core of the process lies the issue of the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to determine their own future,” Oskanian said. “They want a right to live in peace and security and to determine their own future, they want to exercise the right that every people here has exercised at some point in their history,” he said.
“We follow very closely developmen’s on Kosovo. We hear the international community loud and clear, that Kosovo cannot be a precedent for other conflicts, he said. “While we have no intention to use Kosovo as a precedent for our conflict;no one should tell us that there is a quota on liberty and security.”

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