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Nagorno-Garabagh conflict in OCSE

  



Azerbaijan became a member of this authoritative organization in 1992. That year on January 30,
Azerbaijan, which was a member to the Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, signed the
organization's documents at the CSCE summit on July 8 taking place in Helsinki. In February 1992, the first CSCE mission came to our republic to prepare a report regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-
Karabakh conflict. In February, the report of the mission was listened at the meeting of the organization's
Committee of High-Ranking Persons (CHRP) taking place in Prague. The report confirmed the fact that
Nagorno-Karabakh is an Azerbaijan territory. The Committee stated as well the necessity of achieving the
conflict's peaceful settlement.
In March 1992, CSCE representatives paid a second visit to the region, this time a report was listened
to as well at the CHRP meeting, and the Committee again sufficed with an invitation of the parties to create a condition for the Peace Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh.
On March 24, CSCE Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs discussed the issue and adopted a
decision about summoning of a Peace Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh based on the CHRP guarantee in
order to provide a peaceful settlement of the conflict. This laid the basis of the Minsk process.
In December 1994, a following summit of the heads of states and governments, which were members
of the CSCE, took place in Budapest. One of the most significant decisions adopted at the summit was the
expansion of the organization's activity in the direction of the restoration of peace and safety in Europe.
Another of the most important events of the summit was that the organization was named the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe from January 1, 1995 in order to renew the CSCE structurally and expand its activity.
Participants of the summit discussed the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and agreed
that the appropriate provision be added to the documents regarding this issue. The provision was called
"Intensification of CSCE action in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict". This provision applauded the achievement of armistice between the parties and entrusted the acting chairman of CSCE to appoint the cochairmen of the Minsk Conference. The document reflected as well the necessity of sending peaceful forces for the settlement of the conflict.
The CSCE summit recommended the Minsk Conference to increase efforts with the help of the Minsk
group in acting appropriately for continuation of the existing armistice and signature of the peace agreement. After signature of the peace agreement here, it was intended to dispatch multinational peaceful forces to the conflict region.
One of the major outcomes of the Budapest summit was the creation of the co-chairmanship institution
in the Minsk group. The decision on the arrangement of the peaceful forces from military forces of different states prevented Russia's intention to solve the issue alone. Let us note that at that time official Moscow was trying hard to have the peaceful forces consisting of exclusively the Russian Army.
In December 1996, three important documents (Lisbon Summit Statement of the OSCE countries, the
Statement on the General and Comprehensive Security Model for the Europe of XXI century, and the
document about parameters of the restriction process of common armed forces in Europe and their scope of cover) were to be adopted at the summit of the heads of states and governments-members of the OSCE taking place in Lisbon. However, one of the provisions reflected in the summit's statement, the 20th Article comprising the principles of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, caused rejection by the Armenian side. Armenia vetoed that article. Azerbaijan president Heydar Aliyev expressed his decisive rejection to the withdrawal of that article from the text of the statement and said he would veto all the documents of the summit. The conducted negotiations could not oblige the Azerbaijan President to change his position, and our country made use of the right of not giving consensus and vetoed all the documents of the summit. This meant that the Lisbon summit would finish ineffectively.
Article 20 showed that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could be settled on the basis of three principles:
- territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic;
- legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers
on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;
- guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to
ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.
The mentioned principles were accepted as the formula of the conflict's settlement at the Helsinki
meeting of the OSCE Minsk group in November 1996. 
After long and tense discussions, a consensus was achieved that all the principles reflected in Article 20 were confirmed by a special statement of the acting chairman of OSCE. The statement said: Cochairmen of the Minsk group have defined 3 principles to be a part of the settlement of the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict. These principles are supported by all member States of the Minsk group. They are:
- territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic;
- legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers
on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;
- guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to
ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.
At the same time, all the members of OSCE, except Armenia, confirmed that the conflict's settlement is possible only with the conditions that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is maintained, Nagorno-Karabakh remains as part of Azerbaijan, and the security of all the population of Nagorno-Karabakh (including the Azerbaijanis living in the region) is provided. Armenia was confronted with an attack by the international union for the first time exactly at this summit and was isolated. 
In 1999, at the Istanbul summit of OSCE, Azerbaijan made important steps in order to state its fair
position to the world.
Articles 20 and 21 of the Declaration adopted at the Istanbul summit were fully dedicated to the Armenia-
Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and stated decisively the necessity of continuing the peace process. While the OSCE as an organization serving to maintain peace and the expansion of interstate
cooperation in Europe has been fulfilling its mediation mission up to date in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it has failed to take any concrete step. Even if the absence of  concrete mechanisms in the organization for speeding up the settlement of the conflict play a certain role here, it should be confessed that the OSCE has opportunities to display certain pressure to the aggressive state and attract the world community to this process. OSCE has defined 10 security principles arising from the international law, which have all been violated by Armenia. Those principles are the following:
1. Respect to sovereignty;
2. Non-application of armed forces;
3. Inviolability of the borders;
4. Territorial integrity of the states;
5. Peaceful settlement of the conflicts;
6. Non-intervention in each-other's internal affairs;
7. Respect of human rights and freedoms;
8. Respect of equality of the nations and the nations' right to self-determination;
9. Cooperation among the states;
10. Fair fulfillment of the liabilities on international law. Armenia has displayed that it does not take
into account any of these principles by running an aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. 



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