In the framework of the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council taking place in Geneva, the Republic of Armenia delivered a joint statement dedicated to the protection of international humanitarian law and international human rights law during armed conflicts. The cross regional group of nineteen countries joined the statement.
Referring to the UN Charter basic principles of the settlement of disputes by peaceful means and refraining from the threat or use of force the statement strongly condemns gross violations and abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law during armed conflicts and urges States to hold accountable the perpetrators of such crimes.
It particularly states that the unlawful use of force is often preceded or accompanied by hate speech, large-scale propaganda of war, statements by political leaders and public figures that express support for the affirmation of the superiority of a race or an ethnic group, disseminating hostility and prejudice against ethnic, religious or racial groups, or condone or justify violence against them.
The States reaffirm the right of the victims to be assisted by humanitarian organizations, as set forth in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other relevant instruments of international humanitarian law, and call for safe and timely access for such assistance.
The countries reiterate that prisoners of war and internees must be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law and must be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. The hostage-taking, prolonged detention of prisoners and internees for bargaining purposes, is prohibited under international humanitarian law.
The Joint statement encourages the implementation of effective legislative, administrative, judicial, or other measures to prevent, terminate and punish acts of enforced disappearance.
The States call upon the UN’s appropriate bodies to assume a more active role in the promotion and protection of human rights in ensuring full respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law in all situations of armed conflict, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.