Azerbaijan Wins Security Council Seat, While Armenians Remain Idle

Harut Sassounian

BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

President Aliyev was celebrating last week his country’s historic victory at the United Nations. With an overwhelming number of votes, Azerbaijan was elected for the first time to the prestigious UN Security Council for a two-year term.

This column shall address three questions: 1) how did Azerbaijan manage to get elected to such an elite body? 2) what will Azerbaijan accomplish with its newly-acquired seat? 3) what actions did Armenians take to counter Azerbaijan’s candidacy?

Azerbaijan, Hungary and Slovenia were competing for a non-permanent seat reserved for the Eastern European region in the Security Council. Normally, Azerbaijan would have no chance of getting elected to such a distinguished body, since it is the least qualified of the three countries in fulfilling the requirements of the UN Charter, due to its failure to contribute to international peace and security, and lack of participation in the work of UN agencies.

According to knowledgeable sources, Azerbaijan made up for its deficiencies by offering tour packages and monetary incentives to UN delegates, and economic inducements to financially strapped nations in return for their votes at the UN General Assembly which elects the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council. By hook or by crook, Azerbaijan acquired the support of Islamic countries, the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, and CIS (former Soviet) countries, including Russia. Yet, despite these unusual lobbying tactics, it took Azerbaijan 17 rounds over a two-day period to garner the necessary votes, and only after Slovenia, its main rival, withdrew in protest from the race. Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar complained that his country “did not approve the way this campaign was held.” Although he did not elaborate, he was referring to Azerbaijan’s lavish gift-giving spree.

Naturally, gaining a seat on the powerful UN Security Council accords Azerbaijan international prestige and a new venue to pursue its incessant Armenophobic campaigns. Nevertheless, there is little chance that Azeri officials will be able to succeed in their announced objective of placing the Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict on the Council’s agenda. The Minsk Group co-Chairs — France, Russia and the United States — as three of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, have made it amply clear that this matter will be handled by the Minsk Group, outside the UN framework. Hence, Azerbaijan’s leaders risk disillusioning their people, having reassured them that the Security Council will take up the Karabakh issue. Azerbaijan could also get entangled in precarious situations, being forced to take sides when voting on confrontational issues involving Iran, Israel, and Syria, among others.

While the Aliyev regime was turning the world upside down to come up with votes for its Security Council bid, what were Armenians doing to counter Azerbaijan’s efforts?

Opponents at home criticized the Armenian government for not declaring Armenia’s candidacy for the Security Council, arguing that this would have taken away votes from Azerbaijan. Such a strategy, however, may not have been in Yerevan’s best interest, because Armenia could not compete with Baku’s vote-buying spree, and would have drawn votes away from Slovenia, assuring a bigger victory margin for Azerbaijan.

In an earlier column, I had suggested that Armenian organizations and prominent individuals in the Diaspora, in consultation with Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, launch a global campaign to counter Azerbaijan’s candidacy. I had urged Armenians around the world to ask their respective governments not to support Azerbaijan’s Security Council bid.

Regrettably, neither the Armenian Foreign Ministry nor the Diaspora leadership initiated such a coordinated effort. Two months ago, when delegates from 50 countries gathered at a Pan-Armenian Conference in Yerevan, Foreign Ministry officials should have taken the opportunity to strategize with activists and heads of organizations on how to counter Azerbaijan’s candidacy. Ironically, one of the topics on the conference agenda was “mechanisms for the development of Armenia-Diaspora partnership.” Such discussions are only useful if they are followed up by concrete actions.

Fortunately, a mechanism for global Armenian coordination is in the works for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. For this purpose, a preliminary meeting was held in Yerevan several months ago. Turkey has already announced its UN Security Council candidacy for 2015, at a time when Armenians will be commemorating the centennial of the Genocide. The question is: Will Armenians be better prepared to counter Turkey’s candidacy in four years than they were Azerbaijan’s this year?

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16 Comments

  1. facts said:

    Dear HARUT : what are you taking about ? The problem is some where else – The ruling ‎elite is only and only concerned how to organize fake election and to stay on power – nothing ‎else!!‎
    It seems for me that the administration of Serzh Sakisajy has received an order and the task to ‎keep the power by ever means. Even if they have to spent lot of money (e.g. Vote buying) in ‎the coming election!‎

    To be honest this selfish Karabakhi clan jointly with most corrupt Hayastanizi Oligarchi – ‎are hand in hand and step by step – destroying the Armenian statehood and Armenia!‎

    There is no need to have rule of law in the country, sine a party of “law and order “ / the “ ‎lead by British man” is already part of ruling elite! The current Armenian ruling /fare wore as ‎Levons n ANC could be!) is able to wine ever election , simple the ruling elite in Hayasatna ‎has found a unique solution to unemployment, unjustness, poverty, which even modern ‎western countries with may problems could dream of it- this is to force people to accept the ‎there rule od “Un law” or simple to immigrate some where else! With such a simple policy ‎many proems being solved at once ! ‎

  2. Hye said:

    Azerbaijan’s SC seat will do absolutely nothing for their false case. Quite the opposite actually, it will make them look silly when and if they try to put the Artsakh issue on the agenda, since it will get vetoed before Aliev can say turkey. And as you so cleverly point out, this position holds as many drawbacks as advantages (of which none threaten us, the advantages gained by Azerbaijan I mean), like having to vote on controversial issues that can damage their relations with countries involved. I am actually glad they won, now the world can see just how desperate they are for prestige, by bribing Olympics officials and buying the Eurovision victory.

  3. JOHN said:

    I wonder how many of the United Nations leaders now have Swiss accounts thanks to Azerbaijan.

  4. Hayq said:

    Azerbaijan’s seat at the UN security council, much like all others that hold non-permanent seats, is ceremonial. The only votes that matter are the five permanent members. That is the way it was designed.

  5. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Armenians are not Idle Dr. Sassonian
    They can’t bribe
    They have dignity
    Shame who supports Azerbaijan
    Every one knows that their money works…
    Their government will not last…
    Soon will collapse…

    SP

    • Emin-MD said:

      Sylvia, maybe they cannot bribe, but they can steal the elderly US citizens’ Medicare money. Have you been following the news about armenian gangs in California stealing money from the US Government? I can provide you with information from reliable US sources. Or just Google it.

      • Christo said:

        Hey guy, why don’t you google every ethnic group found on this planet that lives in the united states who “steal” medicare money. WHY DON’T YOU GOOGLE IT YOURSELF. Place special emphasis on god’s chosen people. If you have more time on your hand pick up a copy titled Red Mafia!

  6. Pyuzant said:

    while our goverment still from their own people Armenians,or God for bit if we try to help each other,or listen each other,dagavin “where are you from” ooo tun Bolsetzi,Yerevantzi,Irantzi Beyrutzi,,,, and then why azari be come consel of nato!! why not they have more money to spent,and not killing each other like us..

  7. Haik Azad said:

    Dear Sassuntsi Harut,armenians are not idle on this or any other issue-Yerevan radio reported two armenians have been spotted eating 4 pounds of halal halva and three others have been drinking moonshine raki and talking the matter in a turkish bath.Dont criticize yer fellow compatriots-they are always ready to talk turkey on this and any other matter-in fact they taught the turkeys to do so,as for any actions,aaah,gamats,gamats-let me eat my dolma ,have my designer`s drug of today and then I`m gonna tell ya all about it.Vonts ek???

  8. ahmet said:

    Mr. Sassounian,

    You are claiming that Azerbaijan has offered gifts to UN member state delegates to get their votes. In other words, you are claiming that Azerbaijan has bribed those delegates and that a large-scale corruption going on inside the United Nations. I am just wondering, what facts do you have to support this claim? If you don’t have any, then maybe you have created all this ideas in your mind, just because you are an Armenian. Seriously, if you can convince me with facts that Azerbaijan took a seat in the Security Council by spending money and bribing other nations, then I will honestly agree with you that Azerbaijan does not deserve that seat. I would be very thankful, if you could answer to my comment. Thanks in advance.

      • ahmet said:

        Basil:

        My question was regarding the UN country votes, not boxing. Regarding boxing, I don’t believe anything that is proven in a courtroom. Everyone can say or right whatever they want, right? How do you know it’s accurate unless it’s proven by facts?

    • Elchin said:

      Ahmet didn’t you know that Azerbaijan offered them free city tour in Baku, thats why they picked Azerbaijan?

      • ahmet said:

        Elchin:

        No, I didn’t know. And I still don’t know for sure, nor do you. Where are the facts? Were you in the UN building and saw Azerbaijanis offering money or free tours to all nations’ delegates? And do you really believe that those delegates who sit at the United Nations are desperate to see Baku, and they dont make enough money to visit Baku on their own? I mean, seriously? Do you believe that?

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