Statement by the Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 1266th Meeting of the Permanent Council, 07 May 2020
Statement by the Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan
1266th Meeting of the Permanent Council,
7 May 2020
on the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II
and 28th anniversary of occupation of Shusha by Armenia
The Delegation of Azerbaijan warmly welcomes Chair of the new German Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Ambassador Michaela Küchler, to the Permanent Council and thanks her for addressing the Council on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II.
On May 9 of this year, Azerbaijan proudly commemorates the 75 Anniversary of the victory in the World War II. We honor the sacrifices made by the coalition of nations that fought Nazism and fascism. People of Azerbaijan have also made a considerable contribution and sacrifice for that victory. Azerbaijan sent more than 640,000 of its brave men and women to the frontline. Almost half of them did not return home. National Azerbaijani divisions displayed an exemplary courage in the fight against Nazism in European countries as well. Furthermore, Azerbaijan contributed three quarters of oil and 90% of the aviation fuel produced in the Soviet Union during the war time.
Azerbaijan also became one of the few shelters for Jews fleeing from the horrors of Holocaust. Every January we traditionally observe the Commemoration Day in Memory of the Victims of Holocaust and express our solidarity with the Jewish community of the country in firmly rejecting all manifestations of ethnic and religious hatred, intolerance and discrimination. Preservation of the memory of this crime is crucial to prevent recurrence of such tragedies in the future. In this regard, we value the work done by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance to ensure that the truth about the Holocaust is never forgotten
As a country that sacrificed a lot for the victory over Nazism and mindful of the horrors of the World War II, we are concerned about the instances of glorification of the Nazi movement and those who collaborated with it, including by erecting monuments and memorials. The UN General Assembly resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” must be complied with by the OSCE participating States in order to prevent such worrisome tendencies. We regret that we couldn’t join the joint statement delivered by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation on behalf of a group of participating States due to the fact that the Delegation of Armenia refused to accept inclusion of a paragraph on combating glorification of Nazism. However, there is nothing surprising in this, given the fact that a monument to a Nazi collaborator Garegin Nzhdeh was erected in Armenia and this country’s high-level officials consider him as a national hero.
Devastating consequences of the World War II prompted the international community to put the obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of States at the core of the international security order to maintain peace and security in Europe and beyond, as reflected in the U.N. Charter and the Helsinki Final Act. Unfortunately, today, we still observe instances of threat or use of force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
On 8 May 1992, Azerbaijan’s ancient city of Shusha has been occupied by the Armenian armed forces. The city has been ethnically cleansed of its Azerbaijani population. The annual celebration and glorification of the seizure of Shusha by the Armenian high-level officials represents a profound disrespect for the memory of fallen citizens of Azerbaijan who lost their lives in this conflict.
Until the occupied territories of Azerbaijan are liberated from the occupying Armenian forces and the right of the forcibly displaced population to return to their homes in safety and dignity is exercised, the Victory Day in the World War II in Azerbaijan will be also associated with the occupation of Shusha.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.