in Russian – https://aga-tribunal.info/knyazyan-8-2-2022/
Statement by Mr. Davit Knyazyan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Armenia to the UN, at the meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
I thank you for convening this meeting of the Group of Friends in a physical format to take stock of the implementation of the principles and goals of the Alliance on promoting dialogue, peace and solidarity across religions, cultures and civilizations and look into persistent challenges in countering discrimination, hatred and xenophobia.
Armenia has a long history of dialogue, cultural interaction and mutual enrichment with various peoples, religions and civilizations, traces of which can be found in cultural and religious monuments, scattered along the Silk Road and in ancient manuscripts and artefacts displayed in world museums and libraries.
We continue to witness the rise of hate speech, identity-based hate crimes, state-led disinformation campaigns and promotion of fake historical constructs aimed at justifying and concealing elimination of ethnic and religious groups and their heritage in their historical homeland.
Today, the millennia-old Christian Armenian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh is on the verge of extermination. Ages-old monasteries, unique cross-stones (khachkars) and other cultural monuments depicting the rich heritage of the Armenian people in Artsakh are being destroyed, vandalized or misappropriated to promote the distorted narrative that the Armenian people is alien in the region. In the absence of international presence in the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Azerbaijan, a state organized campaign is underway to desecrate and illegally appropriate the Armenian religious and cultural heritage, falsify and rename historical Armenian toponyms, dating back many centuries. The Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan went so far as to openly state about creating of a so-called working group “to remove the fictitious traces written by Armenians”, which in fact aims to alter and desecrate the Christian Armenian heritage. A strong international response to this state-sponsored vandalism is crucial to avoid the fate of the thousands of Armenian religious and cultural monuments erased in Nakhijevan by the Azerbaijani authorities.
As a nation, which has survived the horrors of genocide under the cover of the WWI we understand too well the critical importance of strong and responsible multilateral order for timely identification of situations conducive to atrocity crimes and ensuring protection of ethnic and religious groups subject to hate speech, marginalization and racial profiling.
As a strong supporter of the prevention agenda we stand ready to contribute to the efforts of the Alliance of Civilization to promote solidarity and harmony among the nations through intercultural dialogue and understanding, which is rooted in respect in human rights and human dignity.
I thank you.