On May 20, the 132nd Ministerial Session of the Council of Europe was held in Turin, Italy, where Ararat Mirzoyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, participated and delivered remarks. In his speech, Minister Mirzoyan, particularly, mentioned:
"Honorable Minister Di Maio,
We know from Armenia’s experience what a remarkable role the Council of Europe can play in assisting countries to build strong democratic institutions and systems. This year the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution on Functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia where PACE stated Armenia’s marked progress in its democratic development. And perhaps one of the brightest examples of that progress was the snap parliamentary elections of last summer, when the citizens of Armenia once again proved their devotion and commitment to the values of democracy and human rights.
Today we are witnessing the looming demise of the security architecture, which certainly has not started just recently during the last couple of months.
We felt the shatter of multilateralism, the crack of international institutions and disrespect for fundamental rules less than two years ago when Azerbaijan, violating the principle of non-use of force, unleashed a war against Nagorno-Karabakh and its people.
It’s been a year and a half since those horrible times, and Azerbaijan claims that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is solved and they are ready for peace.
I would sound naive but if it is true why do we still struggle for the rights of prisoners of war and detainees and their immediate release and repatriation. Why do we still struggle for cultural rights of people and policy-driven demolition of Armenian cultural heritage under Azerbaijani control? Why do we struggle for the right of children to get quality education as their schools are frequently under fire? Why do we struggle for the right of people to have basic living standards in their houses as the only gas pipeline is being cut?
I can continue bringing new examples but to put it briefly: why we struggle to make Azerbaijan understand that Nagorno-Karabakh is not only a piece of territory, it is people, whose dignity should be respected.
And dear colleagues, as the devotion of human rights brought us all here, then this is the issue for all of us.
The Government of Armenia is committed to the efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the region and has reiterated on numerous occasions its readiness to immediately start genuine and constructive negotiations on normalization of relations with Azerbaijan.
And in this regard, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship has a key role to play in advancing the peace process. But we strongly believe that the Council of Europe also, within its mandate, should be active in supporting that process.
I would conclude by saying that the need for peace and stability is long overdue for our region.