Armenian Foreign Minister addresses meeting on OSCE peace operations

On October 1, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian participated in a meeting in the UN Headquarters, New York, dedicated to OSCE peacekeeping missions, organised under the auspices of Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Troika – Switzerland, Serbia, and Germany.

In his speech at the discussion, Edward Nalbandian particularly said:

“The attitude of Armenia towards peace-keeping missions can be tested by the geography of our engagement in such past and present missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mali. I would like to note that in four days Yerevan will host the international conference on peacekeeping operations, assisted by Edmond Mulet, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

Speaking here at the UN Headquarters, I would like to once again acknowledge the central role of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security and meanwhile to recall our shared conviction that the OSCE is a primary organization for the peaceful settlement of disputes within its region. It is in this vein that we view the current discussions on the OSCE peace operations – a concept which has yet to be defined within the framework of our Organization.

It is our conviction that it should be guided by and based on the commitments adhered to by the OSCE on the maintenance of peace and security. In this regard, I would like to recall the pledge made at the Astana Summit to increase efforts to resolve existing conflicts in the OSCE area in a peaceful and negotiated manner, within agreed formats.

In the case of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict the agreed format is the Co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group. Thus, all international, including the OSCE efforts for further addressing the conflict related matters in this case should be implemented through this framework.

The Co-chairmen of the Minsk Group are assisted on the ground by the team, led by the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office, which is the only permanent presence in the conflict zone, monitoring the observance of the cease-fire. There is no doubt that strengthening this presence means enhancing capabilities of the Organization in fostering peace and consolidating the cease-fire on the line of contact and borders. This is a tangible case where further involvement of the Organization can make a real difference on the ground, including through the establishment of an investigative mechanism on the cease-fire violations – a Confidence and security building measure which has long been on the table – proposed and thoroughly supported by the international community.  In their statement of September 28th the co-chairs once again reiterated this proposal.

The political solutions should decide and guide the design and possible deployment of the peacekeeping operations. It has been stated by the Minsk Group Co-chairs on numerous occasions, including on the level of the presidents of the Co-chair countries, that international security guarantees would include a peacekeeping operation as one of the elements of the Basic Principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. It is aimed at separation of armed forces and keeping peace once the political resolution to the conflict is reached. No other mandate or component, including the one related to the police activities is attached to the peacekeeping operation in this particular case.

The situations and challenges of our shared OSCE area, which we are trying to address can be substantially different and there are no universal remedies to fit all of them. The Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping held two days ago, here at the UN welcomed the report of the High Level Panel on UN Peace Operations, which warns us “too often mandates and missions are produced on the basis of templates instead of [being] tailored to support situation-specific political strategies”. Tailored made approaches, carefully crafted to avoid harming or intervening the ongoing processes within internationally mandated agreed formats should form the basis of our endeavors”.

Thank you.