Paul Gavan, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, rapporteur on the issue of “Humanitarian consequences of the blockage of the Berdzor road”, made the following statement: “On April 23, 2023, I was informed that a border checkpoint was installed by the Republic of Azerbaijan at the starting point of the Berdzor road. This unilateral action by Azerbaijan comes in the midst of the current growing tensions regarding the obstruction of the Berdzor road, the only open communication route between Artsakh and the Syunik region, since December 12, 2022.
Open and secure access to this corridor was confirmed and agreed upon in the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020. The Parliamentary Assembly has been closely following this situation, including reports by PACE monitoring co-rapporteurs Armenia Kimmo Kiljunen (Finland, SOC) and Boriana Aberg (Sweden, EPP/CD) were presented during the discussion of current affairs in January, and the Legal Board
The report on business and human rights was published in March by a statement of the Rights Committee. In accordance with the Bureau’s decision, on 15 March 2023 I was appointed by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons as rapporteur on the humanitarian consequences of the Berdzor roadblock.
Azerbaijan claims that the Berdzor road is systematically and widely used for illegal purposes. On the other hand, the suffering of the people of Artsakh and the resulting severe humanitarian crisis have already been well documented. For months we have been witnessing a disturbing escalation in the region, not only in rhetoric, but in fact. My report on the situation must be prepared without delay. In the last week of May, I intend to visit Armenia and Azerbaijan, including the region in question. During my visit, which should include first-hand information on the situation on the Berdzor road, I am ready to meet with all relevant interlocutors.
My goal is to make a fair, accurate and honest report, which will be difficult if I am not allowed to see with my own eyes whether access to the Berdzor road is free and safe, as provided for in the tripartite declaration of November 9, 2020.”