The Revival of the Karabakh Conflict

Resolutions of the United Nations and Attempts at Mediation, 1993

Ever since the start of the conflict, the international community tried to broker a peaceful solution to the conflict. Since June 1992, the European Security Conference (ESC), later the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has had the mandate to lead the mediation of the conflict. During 1993, international organizations, the OSCE and the UN began to step up their mediation efforts and worked for an immediate halt to the armed conflict and human losses. During this period, the OSCE and the so-called Minsk Group were given the main mandate to mediation. UN too ratified a number of official statements, such as the resolutions of the UN Security Council: no. 822 (30 April 1993),[83] no. 853 (29 July 1993),[84], no. 874 (14 October 1993),[85] no. 884 (12 November 1993), [86] and one by the UN General Assembly: no. 62/243 (25 April 2008).[87] All of the resolutions in the Security Council call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh, while the resolution in the General Assembly only emphasized the issue of Armenian forces on the Azerbaijani territory. An important detail with these resolutions is that none of them invoke Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides binding right to similar resolutions on "the maintenance of peace." It was e.g. used in the resolution regarding the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which in turn gave the Security Council members the right to intervene. These resolutions are often mentioned in the discussions on Karabakh, where Azerbaijan blames Armenia for not having complied to the UN resolutions. The Armenian side justifies this by referring to the role and the mandate of the OSCE and the Minsk Group as the exclusive mediator (already in January 1992 and in the form of the European Security Conference, CSCE). In doing so, the the question of mediation was moved from the UN mandate to the CSCE and later the OSCE. The existence of two independent forum for mediation, one in the UN and in the OSCE (and now a possible third one in the European Parliament), could not be seen as an effective way to resolve the conflict when the work of these two organizations are edivendly not coordinated and sometimes even contradict one another. In fact, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, USA, France and Russia, criticized and voted against the recent UN resolution (62/243) on the grounds that the group argued that the resolution was acting against the mediators' existing proposals and "selectively propagated only certain of those principles to the exclusion of others, without considering the co-chairs’ proposal in its balanced entirety". An overwhelming number of countries, including Sweden, abstained from voting on the grounds that they did so in respect of the Minsk Group's ongoing work.[88] Since then, Azerbaijan has tried to introduce a number of similar resolutions in the UN and the European Parliament, but a majority of these have been stopped in order to not interfere with the Minsk Group's ongoing mediation.

Notes

83) UNHCR, Resolution 822 (1993) Adopted by the Security Council at its 3205th meeting , on 30 April 1993, Geneva; http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3b00f15764.html
84) UNHCR, Resolution 853 (1993) Adopted by the Security Council at its 3259th meeting , on July 29, 1993, Geneva; http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3b00f15a60.html
85) UNHCR, Resolution 874 (1993) Adopted by the Security Council at its 3292nd meeting , on October 14, 1993, Geneva; http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3b00f1684.html
86) UNHCR, Resolution 884 (1993) Adopted by the Security Council at its 3313th meeting , on 12 November 1993, Geneva; http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3b00f16520.html
87) UN, General Assembly, The situation in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan Tories , New York, 25 April 2008 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=a/res/62/243
88) See the text of the resolution and the protocol, UN, General Assembly, General Assembly Adopts Resolution Rea irming Territorial Integrity of Azerbaijan, Demanding Withdrawal of all Armenian Forces , New York, March 14, 2008: http://www .un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/ga10693.doc.htm