Armenia has signed a declaration emanating from the Summit for Democracy that took place on Wednesday, however it expressed its objection over a portion of the document that specifically addresses the response of the participants to conflicts.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the the virtual summit, hosted by President Joe Biden. During his presentation Pashinyan pledged Armenia’s dedication to democracy and democratic principles. He also said that Armenia was committed in advancing a peace deal with Azerbaijan.
Armenia expressed reservation regarding a portion of the declaration known as the “preambular paragraph 3,” saying, “this paragraph does not comprehensively reflect all conflicts and crises and does not address the fact of the Azerbaijani aggression against, and occupation of parts of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.”
Armenia, along with India and Mexico, endorsed the document as a whole, but expressed their reservations to the said paragraph.
The gist of the paragraph was the recognition of fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter, which says that “all states shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means.”
Yet the remainder of the preamble solely focused on condemning Russia for its “aggression” against Ukraine and did not address the violations of rights and democratic principles as it relates to other conflicts around the world, including the current state of Artsakh, which has been blockaded by Azerbaijan since December 12. The statement also does not make reference to other violations of sovereignty and does not call for the immediate release of prisoners of war elsewhere in the world, but Ukraine.
“We deplore the dire human rights and humanitarian consequences of the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, including the continuous attacks against critical infrastructure across Ukraine with devastating consequences for civilians, and express our grave concern at the high number of civilian casualties, including women and children, the number of internally displaced persons and refugees in need of humanitarian assistance, and violations and abuses committed against children. We are deeply concerned by the adverse impact of the war on global food security, energy, nuclear security and safety and the environment. We demand that Russia immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and call for a cessation of hostilities. We also call for the parties to the armed conflict to adhere to their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law. We call also for the complete exchange of prisoners of war, the release of all unlawfully detained persons and the return of all internees and of civilians forcibly transferred and deported, including children. We strongly support accountability for the most serious crimes under international law committed on the territory of Ukraine through appropriate, fair and independent investigations and prosecutions at the national or international level, and to ensure justice for all victims and the prevention of future crimes,” the paragraph in question stated in part.