"Exceptions" Become A Regularity

Vardan Grigoryan

Hayots Ashkhar Daily
27 Sep 2008

In his speech delivered during the 63rd session of the UN General
Assembly, President Serge Sargsyan introduced Armenia’s foreign policy
priorities in the complex and tense political and economic situation
both on the global level and in the South Caucasian region.

The fact that the Armenian President used the chance of delivering a
speech from the tribune of the United Nations mainly with the purpose
of substantiating our country’s attitudes towards the Karabakh issue
has its serious motives. The UN General Assembly is the international
tribunal in which Azerbaijan has managed, for several years, to
transform the Karabakh settlement issue into an unfounded demand for
the return of the "occupied territories".

Emphasizing the fact that four-fifths of the UN member states had
not acted in support of the successive pro-Azerbaijani document
adopted on March 14, 2008, and French, Russia and the United States
(the OSCE Co-Chairing countries) had voted against the resolution,
the Armenian president estimated this as a disservice to Azerbaijan,
which, in his opinion, eventually led the country to mounting "a new
wave of bellicose oratory". "Do not trouble us if you can’t help",
was our country’s clear-cut and firm message to the UN leadership
and the internation al associations that do not take any measures to
prevent the UN Committees from preparing anti-Armenian resolutions.

By introducing the anti-thesis between the consistent efforts of the
OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries and the propaganda resolutions
adopted in the sessions of the UN General Assembly, Armenia clearly
sketched the political platforms with the help of which our diplomacy
is obliged to make more consistent efforts towards counteracting
the adoption of the resolutions submitted to the United Nations by
Azerbaijan and the other GUAM member states.

Rejecting the option of settling the Karabakh conflict "through
resolutions" and stressing the importance of intensifying the
international community’s intermediary efforts towards finding
solutions "through negotiations", the Armenian President also
introduced two of the new challenges faced by the parties and mediators
in conditions of the complex and contradictory global and regional
processes following the Russian-Georgian armed conflict.

The first challenge is Azerbaijan’s armament race which radically
contradicts the letter and spirit of the UN Charter. And the second
is the necessity of overcoming certain stereotypes formed in the
international community with regard to the issue of the nations’
right to self-determination.

Underlining the fact that the attempts of deportation, ethnic
cleansings and genocide against peoples applying that fundamental norm
of international law and protecting their right to self-determination
do not very often receive an equivalent counteraction, Serge Sargsyan
considered the necessity rooting out such unacceptable practices as
an urgent issue.

And as an evidence of such contradictory and dangerous situation, the
President stated the following reality: when one of the peoples manages
to overcome the artificial obstacles laying on the path of exercising
its right to self-determination and achieves the cherished goal,
"all unanimously begin to consider the given case as an ‘exception’
". And this is already becoming a kind of regularity in our reality."

It turns out that the increase in the number of the "exceptions"
on the international arena has brought the international community
face-to-face with a simple question: "Perhaps the regularity of our
times consists in the ‘parade’ of such exceptions rather than in
the ethnic cleansings and genocides deriving from the aspirations of
maintaining the regularities?"

And really, if there have already been three such exceptions in the
course of the current year, including the precedents of Kosovo,
South Ossetia and Abkhazia, then, the prevalent tendency in the
international practice is really the change of the exceptions into
regularities. But even in conditions of such realities, Armenia
finds that "any secession required for exercising t he right to
self-determination in an effective and stable manner should be based
upon the agreement of all the parties involved."

In his speech delivered from the tribune of the UN General Assembly,
the leader of our country also reminded the participants that the
Nagorno Karabakh Republic which has enjoyed the status of a de facto
independent state for around two decades was formed as a result
of resisting the extermination policy unleashed by Azerbaijan and
holding a victory in the war. This means that recognizing the NKR
people’s right to self-determination is the antithesis of repeating
the steps aimed at their extermination.

Viewing the necessity of resolving the NKR conflict through
negotiations in that particular context, the President of the
Republic of Armenia explains to the whole international community
from the tribune of the UN General Assembly’s 63rd session that he
is not only entitled to act as the guarantor of the security of the
NKR people but also is ready to make the successive "exception",
i.e. recognize the independence of Nagorno Karabakh, in case there
is a new aggression unleashed against the country.

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