Documents on NK Conflict Adopted by European Organizations
SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS
1. The Council of the CSCE held its First Additional Meeting in Helsinki on 24 March 1992.
2. The Ministers welcomed Croatia, Georgia and Slovenia as participating States, following receipt of letters accepting CSCE commitments and responsibilities from each of them (Annexes 1-3). The Ministers do not consider that the admission of Croatia and Slovenia affects in any way the Conference on Yugoslavia nor prejudges the results of this Conference. The Ministers support the efforts of the Brussels Conference on Yugoslavia in search of an overall political settlement of the Yugoslav crisis.
3. The Ministers expressed their deep concern about the continuing escalation of the armed conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and the resulting increased suffering and loss of life of the inhabitants. They held an extensive discussion of ways and means to end the conflict, bearing in mind the implications for regional and international security which could result from its continuation and further extension. They called upon all parties to exercise restraint.
4. The Ministers reiterated in the strongest terms the call for an immediate and effective cease-fire including an active commitment by responsible local commanders to its implementation. They issued an appeal for the re-establishment of conditions for confidence and constructive dialogue, including the cessation of measures of economic and political constraint.
5. The Ministers reviewed the ongoing action within the CSCE framework and endorsed in their entirety the decisions taken by the Committee of Senior Officials. They expressed their appreciation for the activities of the Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE undertaken in this connection and stressed their willingness to extend all possible assistance to him whenever it is needed.
6. The Ministers welcomed the complementary efforts made by the European Community and its member States, by the member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States, by the members of the North Atlantic Co-operation Council, and, in particular, the efforts made by the United Nations Secretary-General.
They requested the Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE to keep in close contact with the United Nations in this respect and to arrange for regular exchanges of information.
The Ministers agreed that the CSCE must play a major role in promoting a peace process relating to the conflict. They agreed that the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh requires further CSCE action.
7. The Ministers mandated the Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE Council of Ministers, Mr. Jirí Dienstbier, to visit the region shortly in order to contribute, in particular, to the establishment and maintenance of an effective cease-fire as well as to the establishment of a framework for an overall peaceful settlement.
8. The Ministers expressed their firm conviction that a conference on Nagorno-Karabakh under the auspices of the CSCE would provide an ongoing forum for negotiations towards a peaceful settlement of the crisis on the basis of the principles, commitments and provisions of the CSCE. The Ministers therefore requested the Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE Council of Ministers to convene such a conference as soon as possible.
9. The Ministers furthermore agreed that this Conference, which will take place in Minsk, will have as participants Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russian Federation, Sweden, Turkey and United States of America. Elected and other representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh will be invited to the Conference as interested parties by the Chairman of the Conference after consultation with the States participating at the Conference. The Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE Council will appoint the Chairman of the Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh under the auspices of the CSCE.
10. The Ministers urged all CSCE participating States and all concerned parties to take all necessary steps to ensure that humanitarian assistance is provided to all those in need through rapid and effective means including safe corridors under international control.
11. The Ministers noted the commitment of Armenia and Azerbaijan to fully support the mission of the Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE Council to the region as well as other actions on which the CSCE Council has agreed and appeal to these two countries to pursue actively this commitment to reach a lasting, peaceful solution.
Participants of the meeting held in May 4-5 in Bishkek on the initiative of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, Parliament of Kyrgyz Republic, Federal Congress and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation:
express determination to assist in all possible ways to the cessation of armed conflict in and around Nagorno Karabakh, which does not only cause irretrievable losses to Azerbaijani and Armenian people, but also significantly affects the interests of other countries in the region and seriously complicates the international situation;
supporting the April 15, 1994 Statement by the CIS Council of heads of states, express readiness to fully support the efforts by heads and representatives of executive power on cessation of the armed conflict and liquidation of its consequences by reaching an appropriate agreement as soon as possible;
advocate a naturally active role of the Commonwealth and Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in cessation of the conflict, in realization of thereupon principles, goals and the UN and OSCE certain decisions (first of all the UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884);
call upon the conflicting sides to come to common senses: cease the fire at the midnight of May 8 to 9, guided by the February 18, 1994 Protocol (including the part on allocating observers), and work intensively to confirm this as soon as possible by signing a reliable, legally binding agreement envisaging a mechanism, ensuring the non-resumption of military and hostile activities, withdrawal of troops from occupied territories and restoration of communication, return of refugees;
agree to suggest Parliaments of the CIS member-states to discuss the initiative by Chairman of Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly V. Shumeyko and Head of the Assembly's Peacemaking Group on Nagorno Karabakh M. Sherimkulov on creating a CIS peacemaking forces;
consider appropriate to continue such meetings for peaceful resolution
of the armed conflict;
ON BEHALF OF DELEGATIONS:
TOWARDS A GENUINE PARTNERSHIP IN A NEW ERA
Intensification of CSCE action in relation to
1. Deploring the continuation of the conflict and the human tragedy involved, the participating States welcomed the confirmation by the parties to the conflict of the cease-fire agreed on 12 May 1994 through the mediation of the Russian Federation in co-operation with the CSCE Minsk Group. They confirmed their commitment to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and welcomed the political support given by the Security Council to the CSCE's efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict. To this end they called on the parties to the conflict to enter into intensified substantive talks, including direct contacts. In this context, they pledged to redouble the efforts and assistance by the CSCE. They strongly endorsed the mediation efforts of the CSCE Minsk Group and expressed appreciation for the crucial contribution of the Russian Federation and the efforts by other individual members of the Minsk Group. They agreed to harmonize these into a single co-ordinated effort within the framework of the CSCE.
2. To this end, they have directed the Chairman-in-Office, in consultation with the participating States and acting as soon as possible, to name co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to ensure a common and agreed basis for negotiations and to realize full co-ordination in all mediation and negotiation activities. The co-chairmen, guided in all of their negotiating efforts by CSCE principles and an agreed mandate, will jointly chair meetings of the Minsk Group and jointly report to the Chairman-in-Office. They will regularly brief the Permanent Council on the progress of their work.
3. As a first step in this effort, they directed the
co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to take immediate steps to promote,
with the support and co-operation of the Russian Federation and other
individual members of the Minsk Group, the continuation of the existing
cease-fire and, drawing upon the progress already achieved in
4. They agreed that, in line with the view of the parties to the conflict, the conclusion of the agreement mentioned above would also make it possible to deploy multinational peacekeeping forces as an essential element for the implementation of the agreement itself. They declared their political will to provide, with an appropriate resolution from the United Nations Security Council, a multinational CSCE peacekeeping force following agreement among the parties for cessation of the armed conflict. They requested the Chairman-in-Office to develop as soon as possible a plan for the establishment, composition and operations of such a force, organized on the basis of Chapter III of the Helsinki Document 1992 and in a manner fully consistent with the Charter of the United Nations. To this end the Chairman-in-Office will be assisted by the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference and by the Minsk Group, and be supported by the Secretary General; after appropriate consultations he will also establish a high-level planning group in Vienna to make recommendations on, inter alia, the size and characteristics of the force, command and control, logistics, allocation of units and resources, rules of engagement and arrangements with contributing States. He will seek the support of the United Nations on the basis of the stated United Nations readiness to provide technical advice and expertise. He will also seek continuing political support from the United Nations Security Council for the possible deployment of a CSCE peacekeeping force.
5. On the basis of such preparatory work and the relevant provisions of Chapter III of the Helsinki Document 1992, and following agreement and a formal request by the parties to the Chairman-in-Office through the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference, the Permanent Council will take a decision on the establishment of the CSCE peacekeeping operation.
The first meeting of the Senior Council was opened by the Chairman-in-Office, Mr. László Kovács. (The statement of the Chairman-in-Office was distributed as REF.SC/3/95/Rev.) In his remarks on the situation in the OSCE area the Chairman-in-Office noted that OSCE participating States continue to confront challenges to OSCE principles, including the preservation of territorial integrity and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In the discussion that followed delegations discussed these challenges as they apply in specific areas. Particular attention was paid to the situation in Chechnya and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Delegations expressed their concern over continuing warfare and widespread violation of human rights in Chechnya. There was a shared sense of urgency for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, increased efforts aimed at a lasting negotiated political settlement, and increased and unimpeded humanitarian assistance to all in need. Such a settlement should be based on OSCE principles and with respect for the constitution of the Russian Federation and Russia's territorial integrity. Delegations welcomed the readiness of the Russian Federation to agree to the establishment by mid-April of an OSCE Assistance Group, enjoying all possible freedom of movement in the region, with the following tasks:
Delegations expressed their expectation that the Permanent Council would take the necessary decision at its next meeting.
Delegations were concerned about the situation of "neither war nor peace" in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and underlined the importance of strengthening the ceasefire. Delegations were disappointed by the lack of progress in negotiations on the conflict. The Chairman-in-Office confirms previous OSCE decisions on the status of the parties, i.e. the participation of the two State parties to the conflict and of the other conflicting party (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the whole negotiation process, including in the Minsk Conference. In addition, interested parties may be invited to the Minsk Conference and its preparatory work for consultations. Delegations urged the parties to re-engage in political negotiation without preconditions and to agree without further delay to an OSCE presence in the region.
Parties were strongly urged to respond to appeals for the release of prisoners of war and hostages. Many delegations expressed concern that the momentum generated by the Budapest decision would be lost if this was not done immediately. Simultaneously, preparation for a peacekeeping operation should be intensified to enable the OSCE to take key decisions. The Chairman-in-Office called upon the participating States to make concrete commitments of personnel and financial resources and to ascertain the financing of the operation.
Delegations explored principles that should serve as a basis for further discussion of a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the twenty-first century. There was broad agreement that these include:
Many delegations raised other aspects of security that they would like to see factored into this exercise, such as the evolution of existing institutions, their complementarity, and the role of NGOs and private individuals in this exercise. They had a wide-ranging exchange of views on the different arrangements that can contribute to European security.
Delegations mapped out a work programme for the coming months. Early discussions in Vienna will concentrate on the underlying principles of common security, the various challenges to security in the OSCE area and the appropriate tools and approaches for addressing them. Discussions in Vienna will be taken forward in an ad hoc group meeting at least once a month. The Chairman-in-Office, assisted by the Secretariat, will keep an inventory of contributions made by delegations, including those made at the Senior Council, for future reference. This inventory will be made available to participating States in advance of the seminar in September 1995, prior to the Senior Council.
Participating States noted that the OSCE, while not currently playing a major role in resolving the conflict in former Yugoslavia, is fulfilling a useful and unique function. Its present, limited activities should be laying the foundation for broad, future work in post-conflict rehabilitation.
Within the OSCE area regional approaches were welcomed and their further development was encouraged. One positive example in this regard is the recently concluded Pact on Stability in Europe. Delegations stressed the importance of OSCE's role as repository of the Pact.
One of OSCE's new tasks has become that of facilitating the implementation of bilateral agreements. Delegations welcomed this role.
Stronger OSCE involvement was recommended to address tensions stemming from unresolved constitutional issues between central and local governments in certain regions. Solutions should be found on the basis of respect for territorial integrity and all other OSCE principles, bearing in mind that all OSCE principles are of primary significance and must be equally and unreservedly applied, each of them being interpreted taking into account the others.
Delegations stressed the importance of viewing OSCE as a co-operative undertaking. Its tools and mechanisms can only be helpful if they are seen as such.
Some delegations underlined the importance of continuing work on issues relating to further institutional development of the OSCE.
A number of delegations noted the importance of the credibility of OSCE action and support for OSCE activities, and the willingness of participating States to contribute resources. Participating States were urged to ensure that their resource commitments allow the OSCE to fulfil the role and functions set forth by Heads of State or Government in Budapest. This is an issue to which the Senior Council and officials in capitals must return.
It is the view of the Chairman that the many important statements by high-level officials from OSCE participating States at the first meeting of the OSCE Senior Council contributed to our security dialogue. Of particular importance was the first substantive discussion on the security model.
RESOLUTION ON SUPPORT FOR THE PEACE PROCESS IN THE CAUCASUS
The European Parliament,
A. whereas the autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh declared its independence following similar declarations by former Soviet Socialist Republics after the collapse of the USSR in September 1991,
B. whereas the war has caused serious humanitarian problems, in particular as a result of the displacement of more than one million persons from Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan,
C. whereas the cease-fire has generally been respected since 1994,
D. whereas Armenia and Azerbaijan have both expressly applied to join the Council of Europe,
E. whereas the strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights are prerequisites for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh,
F. whereas the presidential elections in Azerbaijan in October 1998 were marked by irregularities and fraud which have been condemned by international observers, and whereas irregularities were also noted during the Armenian presidential elections in March 1998,
G. whereas so far the negotiations on a political solution to the conflict involving Nagorno- Karabakh have not produced a positive outcome,
H. whereas an approach which takes account of all the problems and all the recent political developments in the region is likely to produce a lasting peace,
I. whereas the three Presidents in the Minsk Group representing Russia, the United States and France, who have been instructed by the OSCE to draw up a plan for a lasting peace, have proposed a fair basis for negotiations on a peaceful solution to the conflict,
1. Endorses the peace plan proposed by the Minsk Group;
2. Takes the view that these proposals constitute a basis for discussion likely to end the negotiating deadlock;
3. Calls on the OSCE's Minsk Group to continue its efforts to seek a lasting solution to this conflict;
4. Considers that a strong human rights component should be a part of any verification or observer mission under the auspices of the OSCE sent to Nagorno-Karabakh to ensure a lasting peace and to provide early warning of incidents that could lead to a resumption in the fighting;
5. Considers that aid provided by the European Union to this region must be linked to tangible progress in the areas of human rights and democracy in both countries;
6. Considers that the European Union should increase its assistance under the Tacis-Democracy programme to non-governmental organisations in Armenia and Azerbaijan interested in fostering discussion and political education on issues relating to conflict resolution;
7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, the Presidents in the OSCE's Minsk Group, the parliaments of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh.
with the participation of the EUROPEAN COMMISSION,
The annual high-level meeting of the tripartite partner Organisations, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the United Nations, led by the United Nations Office in Geneva, took place today in Strasbourg. As on previous occasions, the European Commission, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration also attended.
The aim of this inter-institutional consultation process is to improve co-ordination and co-operation in areas of common concern, and to exchange information on major developments in the partner Organisations.
Co-ordination of action in the fight against terrorism in the aftermath of 11 September 2001 dominated the discussion. Participants agreed that co-ordination should, if possible, be supplemented by joint activities, taking into account the "comparative advantages" of each Organisation, the importance of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, as well as the Dialogue of Civilisations. The purpose would be to agree, in co-operation with the European Union, on a set of concrete and realistic proposals involving, where appropriate, such Organisations as the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League.
Participants emphasised that the fight against terrorism was a prime concern and voiced support for the resolute efforts of the international community in this regard. They expressed their commitment to helping prevent and combat terrorism by increasing co-operation in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms and strengthening respect for the rule of law.
Participants also focused on South Eastern Europe. They noted with satisfaction the recent Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation to the Committee of Ministers to invite Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the Organisation. They also welcomed a number of positive developments in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including new reforms in the legal and political fields that would facilitate the country's accession to the Council of Europe. Participants underlined the importance they attached to a mutually satisfactory re-definition of relations between Serbia and Montenegro. Welcoming last year's Assembly elections in Kosovo, FRY, as an important contribution to stability in the region, they expressed concern that, some two months after the inaugural session of the Kosovo Assembly, there was renewed tension and no President had yet been elected and no other institutions had been established.
The meeting was highly appreciative of the preventive action of the international community in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia which had helped avoid a deeper crisis. Participants also highlighted the need for further consolidation, particularly with regard to implementation of the Framework Agreement. In this respect, they welcomed the progress in the re-establishment of the Rule of Law in the former crisis areas, with the assistance and monitoring of the international community. They welcomed the adoption of the Law on Local Self-Government and underlined the importance of adequate economic assistance to this country.
The participants discussed recent developments in the Caucasus. They decided to increase their efforts in the region in order to facilitate democratisation processes and to promote internationally recognised principles and values. They also expressed their resolve to promote regional co-operation among Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and underlined that such co-operation would facilitate efforts to find solutions to the so-called "frozen conflicts" in the region.
The participants expressed their concern about the situation in the Chechen Republic, Russian Federation. They stressed the need for a joint approach in order to facilitate the creation of conditions conducive to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance. They expressed their support for the activities of the Council of Europe's Experts in the Office of Mr Vladimir Kalamanov, for those of the OSCE Assistance Group to Chechnya, as well as for those of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in implementing their respective mandates.
Welcoming the joint Council of Europe/ European Commission programme in support of Ukraine, participants stressed that they expected further determined efforts of the Ukrainian Authorities to promote freedom of the media and consolidation of the democratic and legal institutions of the country, especially in the light of the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections.
With regard to the situation in Moldova, participants expressed great concern about recent governmental moves directed against the parliamentary opposition and the restriction of local self-government as serious signs of democratic deficiency. They expressed their support for the work of the mediators and for the continuing efforts to reach an agreement on the status of the Transdniestrian region within the Republic of Moldova.
While stressing that the continued isolation of Belarus was seriously harming the Belarusian people, participants regretted the lack of progress towards the strengthening of democratic institutions. They noted that this was especially the case in the fields of functions of Parliament and the freedom of media. They urged the Belarusian authorities to proceed with democratic reforms. They also urged the authorities to enable a rapid start of the work of the new Head of the OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group in Belarus, without preconditions.
Participants took note of a report on the Target-oriented Meeting on Confidence Building Measures in South East Europe held at expert level on 7 February 2002 in Strasbourg, with the Council of Europe in the chair.
Modalities of co-operation on the ground, including research and training of the members of field missions, were also examined and the need for further promoting complementarity of action recognized and encouraged.
The Delegation of the Council of Europe which hosted these two meetings was headed by the Secretary General. It also included the Chairman of the Ministers' Deputies, the Chairman of the Rapporteur Group on Democratic Stability and the Rapporteur on the United Nations.
Besides the Under-Secretary-General of the UN, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, the UN delegation included the High-Commissioner for Human Rights, the Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees, representatives of UNESCO of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, of the Economic Commission for Europe, and the Director for the Americas and Europe Department for Political Affairs (UN New York).
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe was represented by the Secretary General and high representatives of the OSCE Portuguese Chairmanship. Its delegation also included the Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre, as well as members of the OSCE Missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Skopje.