Point 9: Dialogue with Special Reporter on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Chair of the UNPFII and the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples on UNDRIP implementation.

  • by Western Armenia, July 20, 2023 in National Council

"Mr. President, my name is Arménag Aprahamian, and I chair the National Council of Western Armenia, which has been working within the framework of the United Nations on the rights of indigenous peoples since 2005.

During Azerbaijan's last intervention, I noted that my indigenous people in Artsakh, for whom I have the official mandate, were considered separatists. Therefore, I would like to remind you of what Azerbaijan has done.

First of all, Azerbaijan's borders do not exist under international law and are based solely on a political declaration made at Alma-Ata in 1991. This is indeed a topical issue.

The region of Artsakh (Karabagh) has never been part of Azerbaijan under international law, as it has been an indigenous Armenian territory for thousands of years, long before the existence of a state now called "Azerbaijan."

Azerbaijan massacred the indigenous Armenians of Shushi in Artsakh in 1920, continuing the genocide of Armenians in Western Armenia by successive Turkish governments.

Azerbaijan massacred the indigenous Armenians of Sumgait, Baku, and Gandja in 1988.

Azerbaijan massacred the indigenous Armenians of Maragha in Artsakh in April 1992.

Azerbaijan is attacking our cemeteries, destroying the medieval Armenian cemetery of Jugha in Nakhichevan in December 2005.

Azerbaijan killed thousands of indigenous Armenians in 2020 in front of the whole world and is now militarily encircling the Armenians of Artsakh.

Since then, Azerbaijan has been destroying the spiritual and sacred heritage of the teritories it occupies as a result of this war.

And do you know why? Because Azerbaijan loves us and our territories. It considers us to be Azerbaijani citizens and would like us to be more docile.

So, yes, it's true, and this is the only thing that's true about Azerbaijan's intervention: the indigenous Armenians living in Azerbaijan-occupied Artsakh (Karabagh) don't want to live under Azerbaijan's yoke, and they won't live under Azerbaijan's yoke.

I, therefore, officially invite Azerbaijan, here before the international indigenous community, to recognize the right to self-determination of the indigenous Armenians in Artsakh.

Thank you, Mr. President."