An overwhelming majority of United Nations Security Council members called on Azerbaijan to end the blockade of the Lachin Corridor during a December 20 session where Azerbaijan’s closure of the vital road was discussed.
“Let me be clear: impediments to the use of the Lachin Corridor sets back the peace process. They undermine international confidence in this process. And they carry potential severe humanitarian implications,” said Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternate Representative of the United States for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations.
“We call on the government of Azerbaijan and others responsible for the Corridor’s security to restore free movement, including for humanitarian and commercial use, as soon as possible. The United States will continue to call on all sides to exercise restraint, immediately cease activities that undermine the peace process, and to observe their obligations under international humanitarian law. Outstanding grievances between Armenia and Azerbaijan must be solved through peaceful negotiations. Negotiations are the only way to achieve lasting peace. The international community must do its part and remain engaged in efforts to diplomatically broker a lasting peace.”
“As time has shown, there can be no one-sided or military solution to this conflict. Both parties must recommit to the diplomatic process and re-establish direct lines of communication across diplomatic channels. All parties must intensify their diplomatic engagement and make progress toward normalizing their relations through a comprehensive, sustainable peace agreement. The United States remains dedicated to a sustainable ceasefire and a peaceful resolution to this conflict. We remain actively engaged bilaterally, multilaterally, and with partners as we work toward that shared goal.”
“We remain ready to facilitate dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan bilaterally, trilaterally, and in coordination with partners like the EU and OSCE, to achieve a long-term political settlement to the conflict, in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, as well as the Helsinki Final Act,” he said.
“Firstly, the obstacles placed on traffic on the access corridor that connects Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh since December 12 are unacceptable,” said Nathalie Broadhurst, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the U.N.
“The blocking of the Lachin corridor has the direct consequence of isolating the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. It has humanitarian consequences that are getting worse every day. France calls for the unconditional restoration of traffic along the corridor and of supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh, while respecting the rights of the populations residing there. France calls for the implementation of the commitments made within the framework of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020. It also notes that, as the Republic of Azerbaijan has undertaken, the safety of the movement of people, vehicles and goods along the Lachin Corridor in both directions is guaranteed.”
“France also calls for immediate, free and unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies, in particular the UNHCR, to the populations concerned, including through the Lachin corridor. It notes that the first ICRC convoys have been organized. France calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to create a climate conducive to the conclusion of the negotiations in progress and to progress, exclusively through dialogue and excluding any recourse to force, towards the settlement of the all outstanding issues, including that of the rights and guarantees for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“Alongside the European Union, France will continue to contribute to efforts to promote dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We will support the search for progress on all the subjects under negotiation, in particular the draft peace treaty, the delimitation of the border, the humanitarian questions, and the opening of the lines of communication with the objective of a lasting peace in the region. The Prague meeting of October 6, 2022 between the President of France, the President of the European Council, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia, made it possible to reach important advances. France is at the disposal of the parties to contribute to these objectives, in conjunction with all the partners and stakeholders.”
“Without the free movement of people, goods, food and medical supplies through this vital corridor the people of Nagorno Karabakh will surely face a humanitarian crisis this winter. As Council we have to do everything we can to avoid this and to prevent another man-made catastrophe emerging on our watch,” said Martin Gallagher, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the U.N. Ireland therefore calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately and unconditionally restore movement along the Lachin corridor in line with the trilateral statement on November 9, 2020.”
“As States Parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Armenia and Azerbaijan have an obligation to ensure the right to peaceful assembly. Any legitimate exercise of this right should be respected, while also ensuring that it does not compromise public safety, public health, and the rights and freedoms of others. It is time to moderate rhetoric, and to refrain from threats and provocation. It is time to continue important reconciliation efforts to prevent further unnecessary loss of life. Concerns can, and indeed should, be addressed through dialogue and consultations with the parties involved. We welcome the steps undertaken by the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to overcome their differences and reach a durable and sustainable peace in the region.”
“Ireland supports a negotiated, comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the conflict, including on the long-term status of Nagorno-Karabakh. We maintain our full support to the international format of the OSCE Minsk Group to pursue this objective. We strongly support the continued, active engagement of the European Union to support the sides in their important work to peacefully resolve remaining issues, including through the Brussels dialogue process. Together with our EU partners, Ireland supports the common goal of a South Caucasus where people can live in peace, security and prosperity. I encourage all of us around this table to do the same.”
“We believe that the disputes surrounding the Lachin Corridor should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. Russia has done a lot of work and made positive progress in this regard, which China welcomes. We hope that with the mediation of Russia and other relevant parties, the disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan surrounding the Lachin Corridor can be resolved as soon as possible,” said Ambassador Geng Shuang, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N. “Armenia and Azerbaijan are neighbors, and realizing common security and common development through cooperation conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries.”
“In recent years, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have successively issued four joint statements, respectively making arrangements for the cessation of hostilities, economic and transportation cooperation, and border issues, reflecting the political will of the two countries to resolve disputes through political and diplomatic means. We encourage Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet each other halfway on the basis of the joint statements and with the mediation of Russia and other relevant parties, and properly resolve disputes between the two countries in accordance with generally recognized international laws and norms governing international relations. China supports any diplomatic efforts that help to achieve this goal and will also play a constructive role in this regard.”
“We are pleased that the gas supply to the region has been reinstated, but we continue to call for the immediate reopening of the corridor. The Lachin corridor is the only means by which daily necessities can be delivered to the region. The closure of the corridor for over a week raises the potential for severe humanitarian consequences – especially in the winter. We also note with concern the civilians who have been stranded by the closure and urge that their unimpeded return is urgently prioritized,” said Ambassador James Kariuki, U.K. Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N.
“We are in touch with the governments of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is only through diplomacy, in line with the principles of the UN Charter, that lasting peace can be achieved. The United Kingdom continues to support the internationally-led negotiation efforts that seek to secure stability and peace in the region.”
“Any obstruction jeopardizes the well-being of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and threatens the reconciliation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan in a conflict that has already cost thousands of human lives,” said Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the U.N. “Therefore, parties must show restraint in their rhetoric so that harsh words are not interpreted as incitement to renewed hostilities. Channels of dialogue must be kept open and confidence-building measures adopted in order to objectively clarify facts and find pragmatic solutions.”
“As the trilateral statement on the ceasefire of 9 November 2020 offers an initial road map for peacebuilding, parties must refrain from actions that could characterize violations of its terms. They must ensure the necessary conditions for the established commission to successfully carry out its mandate and demarcate the bilateral border.”
“This is concerning, as it has the potential to precipitate a humanitarian crisis,” said Raguttahalli Ravindra, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N. “The global order is anchored on international law, the Charter of the United Nations and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all States.”
“The Corridor’s blockage has already resulted in severe humanitarian implications and the interruption of medical supplies and evacuations,” said Mona Juul, Norway’s Permanent Representative to U.N. “As any disruptions to the supply of essential goods and services harms the most vulnerable groups first, such disruptions can and must be avoided. It is in nobody’s interest to trigger an avoidable humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“Parties must show maximum restraint, undertake steps to de-escalate the situation and return to the negotiating table in good faith and without preconditions. The international community cannot just “weather the storm” in the hopes that it will go away.”