August 19 is the World Humanitarian Day
Gegham Stepanyan, Ombudsman of Artsakh, issued a statement regarding the World Humanitarian Day. The statement reads:
“World Humanitarian Day is a reminder that we must act to alleviate human suffering irrespective of his/her origin, belief and other circumstance. Each year, World Humanitarian Day brings together partners from across the humanitarian system to advocate for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises.
As a result of the September 27, 2020 war against the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), an unprecedented situation of humanitarian crisis flared up in the country: thousands of casualties and disabled people - among them civilians and kids; about 40.000 forcibly displaced persons; prisoners of war, who are still illegally held in Azerbaijan under unknown conditions. Behind these statistics stand individuals, families whose lives are undermined and fates totally vague.
The November 10, 2020 Trilateral statement stopped the active phase of armed hostilities but inflicted new serious security and gross human rights violations by Azerbaijan, such as taking civilians hostage and threatening them, killing civilians (still with impunity), deliberate disruption of civilian infrastructure for causing serious humanitarian consequences, intimidation of the Artsakh people by different methods and regular violation of ceasefire regime. All these have been accompanied by hate speech against the Armenians by Azerbaijani’s president in his public speeches and on a state level discourse.
Due to unrecognized status of the Republic of Artsakh, the UN and other international organizations do not have presence in Artsakh, to monitor the cases of violations of the ceasefire, to record violations of international law or to provide humanitarian assistance. Although some support has been provided to Artsakh by different individuals and organizations, however a number of calls to the key international humanitarian actors are unfortunately still up in the air.
It is critical that international community understands the severity of the humanitarian issues in post-war Artsakh and makes Azerbaijan to retreat from its aggressive behavior and its policy of ethnic cleansing of the Armenians of Artsakh, leading to further complication of the already dire humanitarian situation.
On this day, I thank all those who supported the people of Artsakh in overcoming the existing humanitarian issues and want to once again urge all the international organizations from across the humanitarian system to mobilize their will and resources to alleviate the suffering of the people of Artsakh․ The UN and other organizations with humanitarian mandate have a great role and responsibility in promoting international awareness and action on these issues”.