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Latest post: Wed 20 Sep 2023

Insights on the work of the UN Security Council

Briefing on the Situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh Region*

Tomorrow afternoon (21 September), the Security Council will convene for a briefing on the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. France requested the meeting following a letter sent by Armenia to the president of the Security Council. The letter cited Article 35 (1) of the UN Charter, which states that any UN member state “may bring any dispute, or any situation referred to in Article 34 [that is, one that may lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute] to the attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly”. Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas Miroslav Jenča* is expected to brief. Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov are expected to participate under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a dispute over the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. It has an ethnic Armenian majority, however, and is backed by Armenia. Nagorno-Karabakh’s effort to secede in 1988 was the catalyst for the war that ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire in 1994. After the fighting ended, Armenian forces wholly or partially asserted control over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts. In September 2020, a full-fledged war broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory. The war, which lasted six weeks, ended through a Russian-brokered peace deal, which saw the withdrawal of Armenian forces from substantial parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven adjacent districts—areas which Azerbaijan now controls. Under the terms of the agreement, Russia deployed about 2,000 peacekeeping troops to Nagorno-Karabakh, who remain in place.

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