YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS. The security environment in the South Caucasus remains volatile as Azerbaijan hasn’t denounced its aggressive policy against the Republic of Armenia. It continues to present new territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia along with backtracking from previously agreed principles of the establishment of peace and security in our region. Particularly the principle of respecting each other’s territorial integrity based on the Almaty Declaration of 1991 and conduct of the delimitation process aiming to recover the borderline of 1991 have been consistently rejected by Azerbaijan.
According to the readout issued by the foreign ministry, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan made a statement during the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament.
The statement reads as follows:
"It is a pleasure to address the Conference on Disarmament in our capacity as an observer state. We believe that the Conference on Disarmament serves as a crucial platform for dialogue and collaboration among nations, aiming to build trust and understanding in pursuit of common goals. Armenia, as an observer state, is eager to actively engage in the deliberations, discussions, and initiatives aimed at advancing disarmament efforts on a global scale.
We reaffirm our strong commitment to the universal implementation of the international obligations in the areas of arms control and non-proliferation and reiterate our steadfast support to the institutions that underpin it.
Armenia reiterates its firm support for the full, complete, and effective implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation (NPT). As a strong supporter of the non-proliferation policies, we reiterate our full compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreements and additional protocol.
Furthermore, we consider the Comprehensive test-ban treaty (CTBT) to be an indispensable pillar and tool for the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and disarmament.
New international regulatory instruments or mechanisms for addressing 21st-century threats and challenges are crucial for preventing potential conflicts and saving lives in line with the International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. In this regard, it is our strong conviction that our joint efforts should be directed not just at protecting and advancing what we have already achieved but at matching the rapid technological progress, especially in artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons systems or drone technologies.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Armenia is well familiar with the devastating impact of conflict, having experienced the tragic consequences of wars in our recent history. This painful past motivates us to persistently advocate for peaceful resolution of conflicts, prevention of the use or threat of force, uncontrolled and mass acquisition of weaponry and disarmament.
The erosion of the arms control regimes does not happen in a vacuum. It is usually a consequence of years-long noncompliance to the main treaties and documents, as well as the negligence of such crucial principles of the UN Charter as the non-use of force or threat of use of force and the maintenance of international peace and security and good-neighborly relations. The international failures of identifying early warning signs of such violations usually evolve into bloody conflicts and hostilities.
It is in such an environment that Azerbaijan launched a violent war against Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, infiltrated into Armenia’s sovereign territory and on 19 September last year conducted an ethnic cleansing of over 108.000 indigenous Armenian population from its ancestral homeland.
Overall, the security environment in the South Caucasus remains volatile as Azerbaijan hasn’t denounced its aggressive policy against the Republic of Armenia. It continues to present new territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia along with backtracking from previously agreed principles of the establishment of peace and security in our region. Particularly the principle of respecting each other’s territorial integrity based on the Almaty Declaration of 1991 and conduct of the delimitation process aiming to recover the borderline of 1991 have been consistently rejected by Azerbaijan.
Nevertheless, the Government of Armenia continues its genuine efforts to build peace and stability in our region as well as confidence and trust between Armenia and Azerbaijan. To that end we have proposed simultaneous withdrawal of troops from the Armenia-Azerbaijan interstate border, with further demilitarization of the bordering areas. Armenia also proposes to sign a bilateral arms control mechanism and non-aggression pact ahead of the peace treaty in case the signing of the latter requires additional time to reach a consensus. Despite the fact that all these proposals have so far been ignored or rejected by Azerbaijan, we are determined to continue our efforts.
The arms control and non-proliferation architecture were established with the objective of ensuring safer and more secure life for all. It cannot be accomplished without joint efforts, compromise and political will.
We firmly believe that dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect are the cornerstones of effective disarmament efforts. Armenia stands ready to work collaboratively with member states, sharing experiences, expertise, and resources to address the complex challenges that are ahead of us. Through open communication and a commitment to finding common ground, we can pave a way for a more secure and safe world.
I thank you."