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Statement by Ambassador Armen Papikyan in Response to the address by the CiO of the OSCE, Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, H.E. Mr. Edi Rama

09.01.2020

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Mr. Chairman,

We join colleagues and extend our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of those affected by the Ukrainian Airlines tragic accident that claimed 176 innocent lives.

Mr. Chairman,

The Delegation of Armenia warmly welcomes the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, H.E. Mr. Edi Rama and thanks for highlighting the priorities of the Albanian Chairmanship.

I believe that common features of our recent history will help us to forge better understanding and reliable cooperation. I can assure you that Armenia is very much willing and aiming to such collaboration throughout your Chairmanship and beyond.

Mr Chairman, the Helsinki Final Act, though adopted almost 45 years ago at a different historical juncture and in a totally different geopolitical environment, still remains valid today. It represents a set of indivisible and equal principles - a set of rights - which were acceptable and relevant back in 1975 and are still relevant today, provided that its entirety and equality are not infringed on by political preferences. This has been Armenia’s long-standing and constant position with regards to the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and we would like to once again stress that any attempt to prioritise those principles, making some of them more basic or more fundamental than others, is doomed to failure. One should not forget that it is mostly due to the implementation of a principle of equal right and self-determination of peoples that we are so many around this table today.

We welcome the intention of Albanian Chairmanship to focus on issues of honouring our commitments and obligations. At the same time, we think that the attempts to conditioning the implementation of commitments or deviating from them under various irrelevant pretexts is an unacceptable but sadly existing phenomena in our Organization.

It is encouraging that while addressing the efforts of conflict resolution within the existing agreed formats, your Chairmanship is aiming at making a difference on the ground which, first and foremost, means alleviating the plight of the people residing in the conflict affected areas.

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict was and is about the people of Nagorno Karabakh – their physical existence, right for determining their destiny and enjoying all other human rights. We encourage the Albanian Chairmanship to reach out to the people living in Nagorno Karabakh and their elected representatives in close coordination with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

It goes without saying, that Armenia welcomes the increased support of the Albanian Chairmanship extended to the representatives of France, Russian Federation and United States, the Co-chairs of the Minsk Group in their mediation efforts as well as to the activities of its Personal Representative.

In this context I would like to draw the attention of the Chairmanship to the Bratislava statement issued by the Co-Chair Heads of Delegation, who once again reiterated that a fair and lasting settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict must be based upon three principles which have been endorsed by all OSCE participating states. Strong adherence of the Albanian chairmanship to these principles, including the equal rights and self-determination of peoples is important also for the consistency and continuity of the engagement of the OSCE.

On its part, Armenia is ready to continue its constructive engagement in the negotiation process in good faith building on the modest, and yet positive example of confidence building between all the parties of the conflict. I will refrain from referring to the position of Armenia on NK peace process in comprehensive manner. Instead I will recall the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan at the Bratislava Ministerial Council wherein the position of Armenia has been outlined.

We took note of the appointment of the new head of High Level Planning Group and congratulate Lt. Col. Sulo Mustafaraj on the assumption of his duties. We encourage Mr. Mustafaraj to make efforts towards ensuring the neutrality and impartiality of the HLPG and conducting activities strictly in line with its mandate. The HLPG is not an end in itself but a tool which was created in 1994 to serve the parties to the conflict who confirmed the ceasefire and it should not serve those who have overtly demonstrated their consistent and unhidden bias towards any party to the conflict. The HLPG current composition remain main obstacle in conducting meaningful activities.

Mr. Chairman,

Armenia shares the approach of the Chairmanship on the need to make best use of the existing toolbox of the OSCE in promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms. Combating violence against women and creating space for their increased role in our societies is a priority for the Armenian government as well and we will support the efforts of the Chairmanship in this regard.

We are also pleased to see that fighting corruption, combating trafficking in human beings, countering violent extremism, promoting tolerance and non-discrimination and most importantly, giving an adequate response to the surge of hate crimes and hate speech instances in the OSCE region are among the major priorities of the Albanian Chairmanship.

And last but not least, your appeal for dialogue. My delegation has been quite vocal regarding the importance and vital role of dialogue. Dialogue is the raison d'être of the effective multilateralism. In this regard, we support the intention of the Chairmanship to enhance genuine dialogue within our Organization and beyond, hence reinvigorating effective multilateralism.

While speaking about effective multilateralism I should also highlight the need for a strong involvement of the civil society and inclusive dialogue with their representatives, and the format of HDIM meetings is a good example of effective and important platform to this end.

With this in mind, the Delegation of Armenia wishes successful and result oriented Chairmanship to you, Mr. Prime Minister, to the Chairman of the Permanent Council, Ambassador Igli Hasani and his able team. Rest assured that this Delegation will support you in all your endeavours aimed at making the OSCE area more peaceful and secure.

In conclusion I would like to once again thank the outgoing Slovak Chairmanship for their tireless efforts.

Thank you.