19 марта 2017 г.

               Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: origins, peacemaking and the role of civil society
                          International Scientific and Practical Conference, March 13-15, 2017, Baku

In order to expand the peacekeeping mission and involve the political and scientific communities of different countries, the International Scientific and Practical Conference Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: origins, peacemaking and the role of civil society was held in Baku on March 14

Over 25 years the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh region has been the threat for peace and security in the South Caucasus. This conflict resulted in deaths of tens of thousands of people and over a million became refugees and internally displaced persons. Moreover, 20% of Azerbaijani lands are still under occupation of the Armenian Armed Forces. Over all these years, the resolution of the conflict has not been moved from the dead point, due to both the passivity of the world community in the person of the Minsk Group of the OSCE and the aggressive policy of Armenian leadership who do not recognize the numerous resolutions of the UNO and other organizations calling for the withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

This position led to the escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which turned into a short-term resumption of military actions on the line of contact in Karabakh at the beginning of April 2016. As a result, both sides suffered losses and the Azerbaijani Armed Forces were able to liberate some strategically important areas from the Armenian occupation. However, Azerbaijan does not abandon the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and continues to seek a peaceful solution to the issue.

Against this backdrop, the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies realize that there are still chances to avoid a full-scale resumption of war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. As a result a group of Azerbaijani and Armenian public figures gather in Baku on December 6th 2016 and created a “Platform for Peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan”, which has been accepted by a large number of Armenian activists in recent months. Representatives of other nations from different countries also joined this Platform.

In fact, Armenian representatives of civil society accepted a hard peacekeeping mission. Within the framework of this mission, Armenian activists expose the aggressive position of the current Armenian authorities, they also consolidate the forces of the Armenian society who is wishing to live in peace and harmony with Azerbaijan and advocating the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

In order to expand the peacekeeping mission and involve the political and scientific communities of different countries, the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: origins, peacemaking and the role of civil society” was held in Baku on March 14. It was organized by public organization “Caucasus History Center”. The conference was devoted to the issues of history, expansion of international dialogue, peacekeeping initiatives, as well as the Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue in order of find the ways of solving of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Over 40 scientists, politicians and public figures from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Uzbekistan, including Armenian public figures and researchers have participated in the conference.

The event was led by Rizvan Huseynov, the director of “Caucasus History Center” and a senior researcher at the Institute of Law and Human Rights of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.

List of the speakers at the conference:

Vahe Avetian (Sweden),
Arthur Agadzhanov (Ukraine),
Tatyana Krupa (Ukraine),
Guram Markhulia (Georgia),
Samira Ismailova (Georgia),
Mehmet Bora Perinchek (Turkey),
Maxim Shevchenko (Russia),
Oleg Kuznetsov (Russia),
Yevgeniy Mikhailov (Russia),
Shukhrat (Barlas) Salamov (Uzbekistan)

Virtual participants and speakers:

Edward Vartanov (Russia),
Vahagn Karapetian (Canada),
Alexander Garkavets (Kazakhstan)

Participants made presentations on three panels of the conference:

1. Peacemaking initiatives and ways of solving of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict;
2. Armenian terrorism and ethnic conflicts as security threat in the South Caucasus;
3. Christians of Karabakh, the Armeno-Kipchaks and the Albanian Autocephalous Church

The conference was also attended by representatives of Azerbaijani state authorities, diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Baku. Over 30 mass media and TV channels covered the event.

Following the results of the international scientific and practical conference “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: origins, peacemaking and the role of civil society” a decision was taken to develop peacekeeping initiatives and scientific research aimed at solving the conflict. The collection of articles “The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: origins, peacemaking and the role of civil society” was also published in Azerbaijani, Russian and English. This collection included articles and abstracts of foreign speakers at the conference. 

Collection of abstracts can be downloaded from the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7BEevnub_DNeFh5NWhhMXV3ejQ/view

Also following the results of the event adopted an appeal where participants of a meeting expressed the need to develop the peacekeeping initiatives sounded at a conference. The appeal states that: “It is planned to present and develop peacekeeping initiatives to resolve the Karabakh conflict and similar to it in the world: in Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia and other countries and at the same time to raise these initiatives on platforms of the European and international organizations. It is planned to address to the OSCE Minks Group with an offer to register at it the Initiative group consisting of conference’s participants “The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: origins, peacemaking and the role of civil society” and “World platforms between Azerbaijan and Armenia” aimed at developing peacekeeping programs together with OSCE Minks Group for conflict resolution within territorial integrity and sovereignty of the states”.