REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
“THE AGGRESSION OF THE REPUBliC OF ARMENIA AGAINST THE REPUBliC OF AZERBAIJAN”
TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
OUAGADOUGOU – BURKINA FASO, 28 JUNE – 1 JULY 1999
In an attempt to seize part of the territory of Azerbaijan, Armenia launched its separatist movement in the Upper Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in complete disregard for the principles of territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders. Armenia resorted to armed aggression against Azerbaijan, and occupied part of the Azeri territory in Upper Karabakh, the Lachin district and the border regions of Nakhichevan.
2. The international community, through the United Nations Security Council rejected the annexation of the Upper Karabakh region of Azerbaijan to Armenia and reaffirmed that the region is an integral part of the territory of Azerbaijan. This was reflected in several resolutions adopted by the Security Council, 822 (1993) 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 844 (1993). These resolutions expressed grave concern at the continuing conflict which threatened peace and security in the region and led to the displacement of large numbers of civilians which posed serious humanitarian problems in Azerbaijan. Reaffirming the inviolability of international borders the international community reaffirmed the inadmissibility of the seizure of territory by force. It demanded the immediate cessation of all attacks between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
3. The Republic of the Armenian aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan was first raised at the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers at Istanbul in June, 1992. The Session reaffirmed the principles of respect for the internationally recognized borders and territorial integrity of states. It expressed its solidarity with the Republic of Azerbaijan and requested Armenia to desist from pursuing aggressive expansionist policy. It also urged the international community to use its influence with Armenia with a view to removing all obstacles to a peaceful settlement of the problem that would guarantee Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and the return of its displaced citizens to their homes.
4. The report issued by the Chairman of the "Minsk" Group of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on 27 July 1993, proposed that an OSCE presence be established in the region and that preparations for the setting up of an OSCE Monitoring mission be continued. The said report urged that: (a) political pressure be exerted by the international community; (b) the seizure of "Agdam" be condemned as a new threat to peace and security in the region; (c) an immediate and unconditional withdrawal from all occupied territories be demanded in conformity with UN Security Council Resolution 822; (d) an immediate cessation of all attacks be demanded throughout the area of the conflict; (e) all States be invited to impose an embargo on all supplies of arms and ammunition to the forces engaged in the combat in the Upper Karabakh area; and (f) support be enlisted for the “Timetable of urgent steps” to be implemented in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 822.
5. The Secretary General addressed a letter on March 12, 1997 to the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark, President of the OSCE on the conflict of the Upper Karabakh province of the Republic of Azerbaijan in accordance with paragraph 16 of resolution 12/24-P adopted by the 24th ICFM. The Secretary General conveyed the deep concern of the OIC over the continuing Armenian occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan and urged the OSCE Minsk Group to intensify its efforts to put an end to the Armenian aggression and to restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. In response to the Secretary General’s letter, the Foreign Minister of Denmark indicated that the Minsk Group was actively engaged in promoting the peace process and that efforts were focused on reaching a peaceful agreement to end the conflict. .
6. The Secretary General issued a communique on 15 September 1997 stating that the “presidential elections” held in the occupied Upper Karabakh region was an illegal and provocative act which contravened the principles of legality and constituted a violation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the principles laid down by the Minsk Group for the establishment of peace and stability in the region. The Secretary General called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to intensify their efforts in cooperation with the Minsk Group to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
7. The Secretary General remains deeply concerned over the security situation in the region resulting from the Armenian aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan and its serious humanitarian consequences. According to the Azeri authorities, the aggression by the Republic of Armenia and the occupation of more than 20% of the Azeri territory have caused heavy losses in dead and properties. More than 18,000 Azerbaijanis have been killed, 50,000 wounded and 4,000 jailed or taken prisoner. More than one million displaced Azerbaijanis are living under harsh conditions. Many mosques and Islamic monuments have been destroyed and desecrated and over 38,000 houses, 1,000 industrial units, 250 schools and education centres and 250 medical centres have been destroyed.
8. The Eighth Islamic Summit Conference, held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, in December 1997, in resolution 12/8-P(IS) and the 25th Session of the ICFM held in Doha, State of Qatar in March 1998 in resolution 13/25-P reaffirmed the previous Islamic resolutions adopted by the Islamic Conferences on the subject, especially the resolution of the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference which strongly condemned the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan and considered that all the acts perpetrated against the civilian Azeri population in the occupied Azeri territory constitute crimes against humanity. They demanded the strict implementation of Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, the immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied Azeri territories, including the Lachin and Shusha regions and urged Armenia to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The two Conferences called on the Security Council to recognize the existence of an aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan and to take the necessary steps under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to ensure compliance with these resolutions. They called for an end to the aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The Conferences reaffirmed its endorsement of the three principles for the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan contained in the statement of the President of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe at the 1996 OSCE Summit in lisbon and also expressed its support for the proposals made by the President of the Minsk Group for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan armed conflict as a basis for negotiations within the framework of the Group.
9. The OIC Coordination Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs held at the UN, New York on the first October 1998, condemned the Armenian aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan and demanded an immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied Azeri territories. It reaffirmed the inadmissibility of aquiring territory by force and called for a fair and peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of respect for the principles of territorial integrity of states and inviolability of internationally recognized borders.
10. The Secretary General addressed a communication on December 1998, to the Foreign Minister of Poland in his capacity as the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE , in implementation of paragraph 18 of resolution 13/25-P adopted by the 25th ICFM.The Secretary General reaffirmed the position of the OIC on the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Azerbaijan Republic. The OIC would like to urge the members of the Minsk Group to intensify their efforts to put an end to the Armenian aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Also request the Secretary General to re-insert the paragraph on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict on the Resolution "Cooperation between the UN and the OSCE" in its traditional form as it is.
11. The Secretary General appeals to the international community, in particular the permanent members of the Security Council as well as the members of the OSCE Minsk Group to use their influence to prevent Armenia from perpetrating further acts of aggression and to persuade it to withdraw its forces in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council which call for the complete, unconditional and immediate withdrawal from the occupied Azeri territories.
12. The Secretary General submits this Report to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for consideration and appropriate decision.