By Vazgen Gharibyan, Toronto, 12 November 2020
The work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) aligns perfectly with Canada’s foreign policy priorities which are to support human rights and fundamental freedoms. Accordingly, the right to self-determination and the existence of the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) aligns with the commitment of Canada within the scope of Canadian delegation to the OSCE.
Due to the Azerbaijan offensive on September 27 and continued targeting of civilians in Artsakh since, over hundred thousand civilians have been displaced, resulting in a serious humanitarian crisis in both Artsakh and Armenia . The UN has signaled the devastating consequences of Azerbaijani invasion for the civilian population in Artsakh with little prospect of accountability on the part of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and their role in hiring mercenaries.
We appreciate the statement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada François-Philippe Champagne on November 11, 2020 to continue Canada’s support of the Armenian people.
As the sixth-largest financial contributor to the OSCE, Canada is a major supporter of the organization in assessed contributions as well as extra-budgetary funding, programs, and field operations.
Therefore, we call upon the government of Canada to:
- Declare the annulment of the illegal agreement made on Nov 10th, 2020 – as it was signed without the participation of two of the three OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries – the U.S and France; and without the agreement of the indigenous people of Artsakh.
- Demand the participation of all of the parties of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries – the U.S, France, and Russia to reopen peace talks.
- Demand that Turkey stay out of the negotiations of OSCE Minsk Group and to not have leverage in the peace treaty.
- Demand that Armenian security forces remain in the Republic of Artsakh to ensure the safety of civilians who face immediate risk of ethnic cleansing.
- Demand Azerbaijan to uphold the commitments it has made to the ceasefire and to put an immediate end to its offensive.