Throughout recent weeks the Human Rights Research Center (HRRC) carried out active advocacy work with the UN bodies in Geneva, bringing up the most imminent issues of concern for us.
On September 18-22, Anahit Simonyan, Director of HRRC, participated in the Advocacy Week organized by the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC) in Geneva. The purpose of the Advocacy Week was to bring together 15 women human rights defenders working in Mesoamerica, Europe, Africa and Asia for the participation in the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), where they raised their most pressing concerns and challenges.
Anahit Simonyan, in particular, directed her advocacy work in the scope of HRC’s 54th Session to the coverage of the issues of Azerbaijani aggression and forced deportation of the Armenian population of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the course of the Session, Anahit Simonyan had meetings with representatives of UN Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups, presenting the gross human rights violations inflicted as a result of Azerbaijani aggression in Artsakh, as well as a result of the prior blockade of Lachin Corridor.
On September 22, Anahit Simonyan delivered a speech on the genocidal policy pursued by Azerbaijan and the gross violations of human rights in Artsakh within the framework of a side event parallel to the HRC’s 54 Session. Representatives of various UN human rights bodies, accredited diplomatic missions and international non-governmental organizations took part in the side event.
You can find the video of the speech attached at the end of the article. Below is the text of the speech.
"I find it vital to alert everyone in this room and beyond that the mere existence of my community, the Armenians in Artsakh, Nagorno-Karabakh, is being eliminated by racist dictatorial regime of Azerbaijan. Inspired by the so-called "special operation" of his fellow dictator Putin in Ukrain, President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, two days ago launched the so called "anti-terrorist operation" against Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, who, at this very moment, being subjected to what is nothing short of a genocide and mass killings.
All of this has been made possible under the watch of the international community and is a result of the absolute impunity of Azerbaijan's leadership.
Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention, starting from 2021, issued five “Red Flag” genocide alerts and four statements throughout 2022 and 2023 on the policy of Azerbaijan and Turkey towards the Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh.
On 23 September, 2022, Genocide Watch issued a Genocide Warning due to Azerbaijan’s unprovoked military attacks on Armenia and on the unrecognized Armenian Republic of Artsakh.
In their very recent call from 20 September, the Lemkin Institute, and I quote “Expressed solidarity with the people of Artsakh, whose identity and whose lives matter and must be protected”.
I cannot emphasize it more than without immediate, effective and meaningful pressure and intervention of the international community, Azerbaijan will continue the genocidal policy of ethnic cleansings, mass executions, torture and enforced disappearances of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh"․
Human Rights Research Center is grateful to the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition for invitation, cooperation and for organizing the Advocacy Week with utmost efficiency.
Folowingly, from October 3-5, Anahit Simonyan participated in the 4th Periodic Review of Armenia's obligations under the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was held in Geneva in the scope of the 74th session of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
In particular, Anahit Simonyan participated in the briefing held with the Committee on October 3, and on October 4 and 5 attended the Constructive Dialogue between the Committee and the Armenian delegation.
Ahead of Armenia's 4th Periodic Review HRRC presented to the attention of the Committee 1 individual and 2 joint Alternative Reports. You can find the reports here, as well as read our earlier article on the subject.
Advocacy work of HRRC with UN bodies is being carried out with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED).