The following is the text of Armenian President Robert Kocharian’s statement at the UN Millennium Summit on September 7–provided by the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the UN:
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The report of the Secretary General on the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century is highly commendable. Armenia’shares the views and approaches reflected in the report on the challenges and objectives for our uniquely global Organization. At the dawn of the new Millennium the scope of our opportunities and–at the same time–of our problems has reached a qualitatively new level. Armenia is confident that the United Nations–given its outstanding role–bears the best potential for addressing these new challenges in the most adequate manner. The vast experience of the United Nations generated throughout the fifty-five years of its activities is unique. With this in mind we should be more dynamic in adjusting the UN instrumen’s and institutions to the new realities.
Maintaining peace and security throughout the world will obviously remain a major priority for the United Nations in the twenty-first century. The contemporary world map continues to be densely spotted with local conflicts and–as a result–of human’suffering. The United Nations has been heavily engaged in conflict resolutions in various parts of the world. At the same time–Armenia believes that the existing potential of the United Nations for the prevention of new conflicts is not fully utilized. The promotion of comprehensive mechanisms of early warning of potential conflicts has become a requirement. Wars do not erupt unexpectedly–they have their histories–their logic and are subject to prediction.
The notion of security in our contemporary world has transcended its conventional boundaries. Globalization has opened up societies to unprecedented levels. As never before–the activities of individual governmen’s have become tightly linked to interdependent and concerted actions at sub-regional–regional and global levels.
Integration has become politically and economically expedient. It is apparent that the new environment of co-existence requires new approaches in the activities of international organizations. Only collective efforts will allow to effectively materialize the advantages of globalization and to prevent its negative consequences. In other words–the world of the twenty-first century has acquired all the necessary prerequisites for truly genuine stability based on collective action and responsibility. This is Armenia’s hope.
Armenia is entering the new Millennium with the celebration next year of the seventeen hundredth anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as a State religion. Our centuries-old history and Christian traditions–along with our geographical location have contributed to the profound perception of the magnitude of co-existence and the dialogue between civilizations.
Armenia belongs to the part of the world–which in the past ten years has been subjected to a major transformation of a political and social nature. Having inherited unresolved problems from the past–Armenia and the entire region of South Caucasus have not remained immune to conflicts. The current realities continue to exert considerable pressure on the fledgling fabric of new social and political relations within the country.
Nevertheless–Armenia continues to build an open society–based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. We intend to further expand our co-operation within the United Nations–to participate actively in various regional institutions–in particular the OSCE and the CIS. We have approached the final stages of our accession to the Council of Europe–which is evidence of our commitment to the policy of multiple engagemen’s as an effective instrument for advancing security through cooperation. We continue to remain confident that the region of South Caucasus is in need of a regional system of security–and we stand ready to work towards its formation.
Armenia remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We will continue to work intensively with the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group–and we underscore their contribution to maintaining the cease-fire regime. Equally–we are ready to maintain direct contacts with Azerbaijan in order to search for compromises–although we think that direct negotiation between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh would be more productive–especially taking into account the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is a de facto established and open for a dialogue state.
In this connection I would like to specially mention that the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh today is a consequence of the Azerbaijani aggression of 1991-92 aimed at the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population–as well as a consequence of the Azerbaijani refusal to accept the recent proposals by the mediators in the conflict.
The contemporary history of conflict resolutions reflects the changing nature of inter- and intrastate relations. It clearly displays the necessity of breaking through the frameworks of conventional perceptions of sovereignty. In this context–we are confident that the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can only be materialized on the basis of the legal equality of the parties to the conflict.
The Armenian nation is unfortunately destined to carry the problems of the past century into the new Millennium. Turkey’s continuing denial of the Genocide of the Armenia’s in the Ottoman Empire has been only intensifying our aspirations for historical justice. Some countries and nations had in the past been burdened by similar problems. However–they managed to overcome them through making moves of reconciliation and with the support of the international community. Penitence is not a humiliation–but it rather elevates individuals and nations. I am confident that a constructive dialogue with Turkey will allow us to jointly pave the way towards co-operation and good neighborly relations between our two peoples.
In conclusion–I would like to once again congratulate all of us on the occasion of the Millennium Summit–which–given the impressive level of its representation–stands proof of our shared commitment to peace and co-operation in our common house.