in Russian – https://aga-tribunal.info/appeal-un-29-8-2023/
A petition to UN Secretary-General ANTONIO GUTERRES is online at the web site https://unblockhumanity.com/en/ We urge to sign it to help Artsakh people. Below is a text of the Letter.
Urgent Appeal for Action: Humanitarian Crisis Unfolding in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)
TO: SECRETARY ANTONIO GUTERRES
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
I am writing to bring your attention to the dire situation unfolding in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), where people are suffering due to an ongoing blockade imposed by Azerbaijan since December 12, 2022. This blockade has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, severely restricting the movement of individuals, vehicles, and essential goods. The crisis has been exacerbated by Azerbaijan’s attacks on critical civilian infrastructure.
Presently, approximately 120,000 people, including 30,000 children and 20,000 elderly individuals, are affected by the blockade. The absence of food, medication, fuel, and other vital supplies has led to a severe violation of fundamental human rights and a significant humanitarian crisis. Furthermore, Azerbaijan’s deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure, including disabling electricity supply and cutting off the sole gas supply from Armenia, as well as disrupting communication infrastructure, has worsened the situation.
The impact of the blockade on the education system is particularly alarming. Many long-day educational institutions have been partially operational since January 9, and kindergartens and schools have experienced complete or partial closures during different periods. This has severe implications for the children of Artsakh and their future prospects.
I want to emphasize the economic repercussions of the blockade as well. The loss of income and employment opportunities has been devastating for the people of Artsakh, as a result of which approximately 14,600 people (including state-supported temporary work placements and more than 80% of private sector workers) lost their jobs and a significant decline has been recorded in the annual GDP by more than 48%. Furthermore, the halt in construction work on critical infrastructure has caused additional economic damage.
I would also like to draw your attention to the recent statements made by President Aliyev of Azerbaijan, which hinder efforts to prevent ethnic cleansing. Despite international calls and demands from various entities, including yourself, the UN International Court of Justice, individual countries, and human rights organizations, Azerbaijan has escalated the crisis by officially establishing a concrete barrier on the Hakari bridge on June 15, 2023. This move controls all movements of the Artsakh people and perpetrate ethnic cleansing.
Furthermore, the blockade caused the deaths of 2 children, 3-year-old Leo and 6-year-old Gita. And this is not the all – on June 29, 68-year-old Vagif Khachatryan, who was being transported from Artsakh to Armenia for treatment, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross, was abducted by the representatives of the border guard service of Azerbaijan and taken to an unknown destination.
Given the gravity of the situation, I urgently urge you to take immediate action, particularly in the following ways:
- Utilize all available instruments to pressure Azerbaijan into lifting the blockade and adhering to the binding ruling of the UN International Court of Justice, ensuring unimpeded movement of individuals, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.
- Dispatch a fact-finding mission to Artsakh to assess the situation on the ground and provide recommendations for addressing the crisis.
- Facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Artsakh to alleviate the suffering of those in need. The people of Artsakh urgently require assistance, and swift action from the international community is imperative.
- Uphold the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle and the Genocide Prevention protocols. These principles demand that the international community takes action to safeguard vulnerable populations from harm, including the people of Artsakh who are currently enduring the blockade.
Considering these developments, I wish to emphasize that the failure of the international community to prevent crimes against humanity has historically led to further atrocities. Therefore, I implore you not to permit another crime against humanity and to utilize the full power of the United Nations as the primary guardian of international peace, security, and human rights protection.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.