7 ноября 2017 г.

Today, it is very important for people of Azerbaijan and Armenia, apart from the leaderships of the two countries, to join their efforts to accelerate the early settlement of the long standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In this connection, the First General Assembly of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform was held in Tbilisi on October 30.

During the Assembly, its participants appealed to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

The issue on the agenda was the establishment of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform on the basis of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform and adoption of its Charter.

Based on the Charter, the decisions were made regarding the number of the members of the Steering Committee and the Central Control-Inspection Commission of the Civil Peace Platform, as well as their representation principles and members.

The Congress decided to create the Steering Committee of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform from the representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group states mediating in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the two countries.

Thus, the proportion of members of the Steering Committee consisting of 19 members is determined as follows: five from Azerbaijan and Armenia each and nine from each of the other Minsk Group participating countries.

Steering Committee of the Armenia Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platfrom:

Armenian representatives:

Rafael Isakhanyan - An economist. Joined to Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform in 2017
Oksana Altunian - Civil activist. On June 5, 2017, she joined the "Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform"
Erick Khachaturov - An entrpreneur. Joined to Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform in 2016
Arthur Agajanov - Historical researcher, Scientist. Joined to Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform in 2016
Rimma Sarkisova - Civil activist. Joined to Armenia- Azerbaijan Peace Platform in 2017

Azerbaijani representatives:

Rovshan Rzayev - Member of the board of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh
Rizvan Huseynov - The Azerbaijani scientist, historian, Associate professor of UNESCO.
Kamil Salimov - Doctor of Law. Professor of Baku State University and Head  of the “Forensices and Judicial Expertise” Department. Expert on the International law.
Novella Jafaroglu - Human rights defender. Gender and peace expert. Chairman of the Society for the Protection of Women's Rights named after Dilara Aliyeva
Umud Mirzayev - President of the International Eurasia Press Fund.

Representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group countries:

Juan Carlos Mendez - Bishop of the California Bethel christian centre (USA)
Evgeny Mikhaylov - Politologist, Head of the South Russia Inforamtion Agency (Russia)
Domenico Letizia - The author of the political ana;ysis section of the l’Opinione magazine (İtalia)
Matthias Dornfeldt - Chairman of the European Institute for Caucasian and Caspian Studies Berlin (Germany)
Sergey Simanovsky - Professor of the Belarus State University, doctor of philosophy (Belarus)
Selin Shenocak - Politoloq, chairwoman of the UNESCO Cultural Diplomacy, director of the Strategic Studies Centre (Turkey)
Jaakko Laakso - MP (1991-2011). Member of the PACE (1991-2003, 2007-2011) (Finland)
Pierre de Trégomain - Doctor of historical sciences, Sorbonne University (France)
Goran Lindbal - Member of the Moderate party, MP of Sweden in 1997-2010, Head of Swedish Delegation to PACE (2004-2010). He was the PACE Vice President for Political Affairs (Sweden)

At the end, the Final Decision and Statement of the General Assembly were adopted. The Assembly decided to open offices of the Platform in Tbilisi, Yerevan and Baku and hold public meetings in Azerbaijan and Armenia.

After the General Assembly was closed, the new Steering Committee held its first meeting.
At the meeting, in accordance with the Charter of the Platform, the co-chairing institute was established and Rovshan Rzayev from Azerbaijan and Rafael Isakhanyan from Armenia were elected as the co-chairs of the Steering Committee for one year.

Then the Steering Committee presented for discussions a list of the Experts Council of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform. Following the voting, the Expert Council consisting of 29 people was approved.

The decisive process of bringing together the people of Azerbaijan and Armenia on boosting the settlement of the conflict started in December 2016, when the Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform was founded in Baku by a group of Azerbaijani and Armenian public figures and peacekeepers. It was created to bring together representatives of civil society of the two countries for creating dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the sides to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

However, this initiative was negatively perceived by the Armenian government, which started persecution of those Armenians who joined the Platform.

Despite this, many people from both Azerbaijan and Armenia and other countries continue to join the Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform, created to accelerate the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the people's diplomacy, and this initiative, of course, should be continued, in order to bring the desired peace to the region.

The I General Assembly of the "Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform", taking into account the statements and suggestions of Armenian and Azerbaijani civil society representatives, experts from the OSCE Minsk Group member states, directed at the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, strengthening peace and mutual trust between the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan, decides on the following:


The Peace Platform, established in December 2016, is the initiative of the citizens of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the civic institutions they represent, who want to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict. This is the voice of simple Armenian and Azerbaijani people who, after the April clashes, started to better understand the reactionary, anti-humanistic essence of the war and who have been condemned to experience the bloody horrors of the war in their own homes and to understand the eternal inevitability of peace. These people realize that even though they do not have the power to solve the conflict immediately, the steps to restore the close neighborliness, peace-building and cooperation traditions between the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples is also an important step. Over the past years, the Peace Platform has fulfilled its commitments by starting preparations for the dialogue. The Platform was joined by prominent people from both countries, war resisters living in different countries around the world and trying to resolve this conflict. These self-sacrificing people have faced many different threats and pressures. Someone did not endure this pressure and left this noble mission halfway. But the vast majority did not hesitate even for a moment and stayed on the path for the restoration of peace between the two nations.

To raise the effectiveness of peace initiatives, there was a need for expansion and reorganization of the Platform. That is why we are taking concrete steps on October 30, in Tbilisi to make the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform a flexible organization. The direct support of the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairs who work on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is very remarkable and encouraging. The establishment of a more effective form of the organization, the adoption of the new Charter, the election of the Steering Committee, the Control-Inspection Commission, the Experts Council and the establishment of the co-ordinating institute, representing all the countries participating in the Minsk Group along with the Armenians and Azerbaijanis, are essential for enhancing the Platform's strength and effectiveness. Undoubtedly, the organization will provide its practical support to the civil society in the Minsk Group’s mediation mission. This increases hopes for achieving real results as a new stage in the difficult peacebuilding process.

Conduction of the first General Assembly of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform in the beautiful Tbilisi city which is remarkable for geographical and spiritual closeness to both countries, where the national independence flags of these states were raised a hundred years ago, embodies the symbolical meaning of new activities.

In order to bring peace calls to real results, the organization considers it essential that the peacekeepers in both countries act in a unified position. Based on the traditions of historical neighborhood between the two nations, the organization sees all the friends and supporters of these countries in the international arena as its partners. To this end, it calls on the spiritual leaders of the millions of people, who bring peace and mercy to the world – the Supreme Religious Leader of the Caucasus Muslims – Allahshukur Pashazade and to the Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin II, to call to live together in peace and harmony and closely co-operate. Besides that, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Civil Peace Platform calls on the Armenian and Azerbaijani diaspora organizations to give new impetus to their activity and peace initiatives. Because every day that hinders the peace in the conflict zone, as well as the intense continuation of the sounds of gunshots on the contact line of the troops become the reason of the death of soldiers, as well as the death of peaceful population at the nearby areas and the settlements.  Among them there are innocent babies, women and older people. Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples have no right to ignore this brutality for decades.