Speech by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

21.09.2023 - Speech

Far too many people have been killed, in the course of just two days.

Thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

Azerbaijan has chosen to create facts on the ground by military force.

We firmly condemn Baku’s military assault and call on it to permanently and completely cease its military actions.

We have taken note of reports of a ceasefire.

But what we need is a complete cessation of violence.

Azerbaijan carries the responsibility to reliably and fully protect the civilian population, especially children living in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The displacement and forced exodus of ethnic Armenians from Karabakh are not acceptable.

Having said that, I also want to reiterate what resolutions adopted by this body have underlined time and again: the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of both Armenia and Azerbaijan must not be questioned.

It’s hard to imagine the hardship the children, women and men of Nagorno-Karabakh have endured for months, after Baku authorities effectively closed the Lachin corridor: store shelves stayed empty, medical supplies ran out, electricity and gasoline were scarce.

Over the past weeks - together with many partners here in this room, we have worked hard to ensure humanitarian access to these people in need, especially pregnant women, children and the elderly.

And just at the moment when a glimpse of hope was emerging, when humanitarian supplies were allowed into Nagorno-Karabakh, Baku broke its repeated assurances to refrain from the use of force, causing tremendous suffering to a population already in dire straits.

The population of Nagorno-Karabakh deserves to live in security and to have its rights protected. Keeping the Lachin corridor open is crucial in this - for humanitarian reasons, but also because it provides a cultural and social bridge for ethnic Armenians living in Karabakh.

Baku and Karabakh Armenians need to return to a dialogue.

This conflict, since its beginning over 30 years ago, has produced too many victims.

What we need – what the people in the region need, is a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

And that can only be achieved at the negotiating table.

I will continue to make this very clear to both sides: I urge you, I urge them to return to the talks mediated by the European Union.

Because now is the time to de-escalate. And I would like to underline this: no country should use this situation now to destabilise Armenia’s democracy.

The men, women and children of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire region deserve a life without fear.

Without fear of violence.

Without fear of being forced from their homes.

Without fear of being deprived of their rights, language and religion.

They deserve a life in peace. Like all of us.


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