Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, issued the following statement today (24 November 2020) on the ceasefire and the provision of humanitarian assistance to the population in and around Nagorno-Karabakh:
The reports and images in recent weeks and months from Nagorno-Karabakh have shocked us all. I welcome the ceasefire agreement reached on 9 November between Armenia and Azerbaijan after six weeks of bitter fighting, and urge all parties involved to safeguard human rights and adhere to international humanitarian law. Our topmost priority must now be to secure humanitarian assistance for those that need it. Efforts to this end must be anchored in the humanitarian principles of compassion, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
I am grateful for the tireless commitment and work of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which the Federal Government has actively supported with funds totalling two million euro to date. In order for this assistance to reach those that need it, it is vital that the ICRC and other humanitarian organisations are granted full and unhindered humanitarian access to the local population.