OSCE
Azerbaijan became a member of this authoritative organization in 1992. That year on January 30, Azerbaijan, which was a member to the Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, signed the organization's documents at the CSCE summit on July 8 taking place in Helsinki. In February 1992, the first CSCE mission came to our republic to prepare a report regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno- Karabakh conflict. In February, the report of the mission was heard at the meeting of the organization's Committee of High-Ranking Persons (CHRP) taking place in Prague. The report confirmed the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is an Azerbaijani territory. The Committee stated as well the necessity of achieving the conflict's peaceful settlement.
 
In March 1992, CSCE representatives paid a second visit to the region, this time a report was heard  as well at the CHRP meeting, and the Committee again sufficed with an invitation of the parties to create a condition for the Peace Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh.
 
On March 24, CSCE Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs discussed the issue and adopted a decision about summoning of a Peace Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh based on the CHRP guarantee in order to provide a peaceful settlement of the conflict. This laid the basis of the Minsk process.
 
In December 1994, next summit of the heads of states and governments, which were members of the CSCE, took place in Budapest. One of the most significant decisions adopted at the summit was the expansion of the organization's activity in the direction of the restoration of peace and safety in Europe. Another of the most important events of the summit was that the organization was named the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe from January 1, 1995 in order to renew the CSCE structurally and expand its activity.
 
Participants of the summit discussed the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and agreed that the appropriate provision be added to the documents regarding this issue. The provision was called "Intensification of CSCE action in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict". This provision applauded the achievement of armistice between the parties and entrusted the acting chairman of CSCE to appoint the co- chairmen of the Minsk Conference. The first clause of the document says: "Deploring the continuation of the conflict and the human tragedy involved, the participating States welcomed the confirmation by the parties to the conflict of the cease-fire agreed on 12 May 1994 through the mediation of the Russian Federation in co- operation with the CSCE Minsk Group. They confirmed their commitment to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and welcomed the political support given by the Security Council to the CSCE's efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict. To this end they called on the parties to the conflict to enter into intensified substantive talks, including direct contacts. In this context, they pledged to redouble the efforts and assistance by the CSCE. They strongly endorsed the mediation efforts of the CSCE Minsk Group and expressed appreciation for the crucial contribution of the Russian Federation and the efforts by other individual members of the Minsk Group. They agreed to harmonize these into a single co- coordinated effort within the framework of the CSCE."
 
The document reflected as well the necessity of sending peaceful forces for the settlement of the conflict: "They declared their political will to provide, with an appropriate resolution from the United Nations Security Council, a multinational CSCE peacekeeping force following agreement among the parties for cessation of the armed conflict. They requested the Chairman-in-Office to develop as soon as possible a plan for the establishment, composition and operations of such a force, organized on the basis of Chapter III of the Helsinki Document 1992 and in a manner fully consistent with the Charter of the United Nations. To this end the Chairman-in-Office will be assisted by the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference and by the Minsk Group, and be supported by the Secretary General; after appropriate consultations he will also estab- lish a Committee of High-Ranking Persons in Vienna to make recommendations on, inter alia, the size and characteristics of the force, command and control, logistics, allocation of units and resources, rules of engagement and arrangements with contributing States. He will seek the support of the United Nations on the basis of the stated United Nations readiness to provide technical advice and expertise. He will also seek continuing political support from the United Nations Security Council for the possible deployment of a CSCE peacekeeping force". This was actually a step made against Russia's efforts to place the peaceful forces organized from the Russian Army in the region.
 
The CSCE summit recommended the Minsk Conference to increase efforts with the help of the Minsk Group in acting appropriately for continuation of the existing armistice and signature of the peace agreement. After signature of the peace agreement here, it was intended to dispatch multinational peaceful forces to the conflict region.
 
One of the major outcomes of the Budapest summit was the creation of the co-chairmanship institution in the Minsk Group. The decision on the arrangement of the peaceful forces from military forces of different states prevented Russia's intention to solve the issue alone. Let us note that at that time official Moscow was trying hard to have the peaceful forces consisting of exclusively the Russian Army.
 
In December 1996, three important documents (Lisbon Summit Statement of the OSCE countries, the Statement on the General and Comprehensive Security Model for the Europe of XXI century, and the document about parameters of the restriction process of common armed forces in Europe and their scope of cover) were to be adopted at the summit of the heads of states and governments-members of the OSCE taking place in Lisbon. However, one of the provisions reflected in the summit's statement, the 20th Article comprising the principles of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, caused rejection by the Armenian side. Armenia vetoed that article. President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev expressed his decisive rejection to the withdrawal of that article from the text of the statement and said he would veto all the documents of the summit. The negotiations that followed could not oblige the Azerbaijan President to change his position, and our country made use of the right of not giving consensus and vetoed all the documents of the summit. This meant that the Lisbon summit would finish ineffectively.
 
Article 20 showed that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could be settled on the basis of three principles:
- territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;
- guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.
 
The abovementioned principles were accepted as the formula of the conflict's settlement at the Helsinki meeting of the OSCE Minsk group in November 1996 and in February the same year. The acting chairman of OSCE Flavia Kotty had put forward almost the same draft.
 
Notwithstanding all the obstacles and difficulties, the Azerbaijan Presidenti adhered to his principles up to the last minute and reasoned his position with quite serious arguments at the meetings with the heads of many countries. After long and tense discussions, a consensus was achieved that all the principles reflected in Article 20 were confirmed by a special statement of the acting chairman of OSCE. The statement said: Co- chairmen of the Minsk group have defined 3 principles to be a part of the settlement of the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict. These principles are supported by all member States of the Minsk group. They are:
- territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;
- guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.
 
It was a very important accomplishment achieved by our country on the diplomatic sphere. First of all, Azerbaijan had succeeded to direct the attention of the whole world to the Karabakh conflict, and this was a very significant matter. The world's attitude towards the problem had not been formed based on objective information and at the Lisbon summit in just one day Azerbaijan managed to change the results of the long- term propagandist campaign conducted by Armenia and the Armenian lobby.
 
On the other hand, Armenia once again demonstrated that it pursues an aggressive policy and acts contrary to the principles of international law, which have been accepted by the whole world. At the same time, all the members of OSCE, except Armenia, confirmed that the conflict's settlement is possible only with the conditions that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is maintained, Nagorno-Karabakh remains as part of Azerbaijan, and the security of all the population of Nagorno-Karabakh (including the Azerbaijanis living in the region) is provided. Armenia was confronted with an attack by the international community for the first time exactly at this summit and was isolated. Finally, a legal basis was determined at the Lisbon summit, which provided for the national interests of Azerbaijan and was accepted by the international community for the further stage of the negotiations process regarding the settlement of the conflict.
 
In 1999, at the Istanbul summit of OSCE, Azerbaijan made important steps in order to state its fair position to the world. The efficient negotiations conducted by President Heydar Aliyev at the Istanbul summit once more demonstrated the non-constructive position of Armenia. Official Yerevan was in fact trying by all means to delay the process of signing the peace agreement. While before the summit, many international observers, including the participants of the Summit, had great hopes for signing the peace agreement. Articles 20 and 21 of the Declaration adopted at the Istanbul summit were fully dedicated to the Armenia- Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and stated decisively the necessity of continuing the peace process.
 
While the OSCE as an organization serving to maintain peace and the expansion of interstate cooperation in Europe has been fulfilling its mediation mission up to date in the settlement of the Armenia- Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it has failed to take any concrete step. Even if the absence of concrete mechanisms in the organization for speeding up the settlement of the conflict play a certain role here, it should be confessed that the OSCE has opportunities to display certain pressure to the aggressive state and attract the world community to this process. OSCE has defined 10 security principles arising from the international law, which have all been violated by Armenia. Those principles are the following:
1. Respect to sovereignty;
2. Non-application of armed forces;
3. Inviolability of the borders;
4. Territorial integrity of the states;
5. Peaceful settlement of the conflicts;
6. Non-intervention in each-other's internal affairs;
7. Respect for human rights and freedoms;
8. Respect for equality of the nations and the nations' right to self-determination;
9. Cooperation among the states;
10. Fair fulfillment of the liabilities on international law. 
 
Armenia has displayed that it does not take into account any of these principles by running an aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. It has encroached upon the sovereignty of Azerbaijan (the 1st principle); used armed forces against our country and our people (2nd principle); violated our borders (3rd principle); repeatedly demonstrated non-recognition of our territorial integrity at international events and confirmed this once more with its aggressive actions (4th principle); interfered with internal affairs of Azerbaijan, this is reflected in the processes, which started exactly with the instigation of the Armenian government in Nagorno-Karabakh (6th principle); violated the rights of approximately one million refugees and internally displaced persons (7th principle); proved in deed that it does not respect the idea of equality of the nations and that it regards Azerbaijanis, as well as all the Turks as enemy (8th principle); incited unprecedented atrocity against our people making the self- determination of the Armenian nation a pretext, knowing that this nation has once determined its own destiny creating its own state (9th principle); does not fulfill any liability before the international law (10th principle).