Statement by T. Musayev Deputy Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the U.N at the Third Committee of the General Assembly under agenda item 67 "Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance"
Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are often among the root causes of armed conflicts and serious violations and abuses of human rights, and the consequent forced displacement of populations. Racism continues to be a major obstacle to friendly relations among peoples and nations.
It is critical to pay greater attention, inter alia, to the persistence of racial prejudice and negative stereotypes, hate speech by public officials and the media, and violent attacks on groups with a view to creating ethnically homogeneous societies. Particular attention should be given to the implementation of discriminatory policies and practices in situations of foreign military occupation, including those aimed at altering the demographic balance in the occupied territories and preventing the forcibly displaced population from returning to their homes.
It is also crucial that justice, truth and reconciliation mechanisms address the legacies of the grave human rights violations and abuses committed during conflicts. There can be no sustainable peace if justice is neglected and the suffering of the victims is denied. Those responsible for war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity must be held accountable.
It has been internationally recognized that the Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan are under Armenian military occupation. It is clear that the creation of a monoethnic culture in that area, both by expelling the Azerbaijani population and by refusing to permit its return, and the establishment of the ethnically constructed subordinate separatist regime there constitute an integral part of Armenia’s policy of hatred based on historical, cultural, racial and religious prejudices.
Besides apparent contradiction in terms of international law, the claims of Armenia for the secession of part of the territory of a neighbouring State with the relative ethnic group living there sound curious also in the light of the fact that, unlike Azerbaijan and other States in the region, Armenia is a uniquely monoethnic country, having achieved such shameful situation by expelling all non-Armenians, including Azerbaijanis.
Furthermore, high-ranking Armenian officials regularly make statements that openly promote ethnically and religiously motivated hatred and intolerance.
Thus, the public comments made in 2003 by President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, about "ethnic incompatibility between Armenians and Azerbaijanis" have produced justifiable indignation within the international community. The then Secretary-General of the Council of Europe said that "Kocharyan’s comment was tantamount to warmongering" and a manifestation of "bellicose and hate rhetoric", while the then President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe stated that "since its creation, the Council of Europe has never heard the phrase ‘ethnic incompatibility’".
On 16 October 2010, at a meeting with journalists, President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia, referring to the results of some "genetic" study, stated that "as a nation, Armenia has been around for the last 8,000 years". Apart from being based on evident historic falsifications, those words were uttered in the direct context of the speaker's vision of the superiority of the Armenians over other nations, including the Azerbaijanis, who were characterized by the head of the Armenian State as a "Turkic Muslim nomadic tribe". It seems the President of Armenia has forgotten what dire consequences the world has suffered in the past as a result of such "genetic studies".
On 25 July 2011, in a meeting with the youth of his country, the President of Armenia openly incited future generations to new wars and violence, thus responding to the calls from members of the international community to prepare the societies for peace, not war.
It is also essential to recall direct involvement of the current political and military leadership of Armenia in brutal massacres during the conflict which claimed the lives of thousands of Azerbaijani civilians, including children, women and the elderly. Evidence of the special relationship in Armenia with terrorists and war criminals can also be seen in their glorification at the State level, including raising them to the status of national heroes and bestowing State decorations on them.
The aforementioned instances of racial hatred and intolerance are not exhaustive. The international community, including the relevant United Nations bodies and other international organizations, has repeatedly expressed their serious concerns about the spirit of intolerance prevailing in Armenia and the discriminatory policies and practices pursued in that country.
Having referred to the specific example of concern, we deem it necessary to strengthen efforts and political will to effectively address the human rights and democratic challenges and to insist at all levels that "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world".