(On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the decision of the Special Commission of the Paris Peace Conference on the demarcation of the border between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan)
Today, February 24 100 years have passed since the moment when in 1920 at the Paris Peace Conference the Special Commission defining the borders of the state of Armenia presented a “Proposal Report on the Determination of the Borders of Armenia”, which was signed by the plenipotentiary representatives of the member states of the Council League of Nations – France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan.
This, in fact, is the second important document adopted by the international community just a month after the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers made a historic decision on “de facto” recognition of the Armenian state on January 19, 1920.
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In the article “The only way to resolve the Karabakh conflict and Armenian-Turkish relations is the legal way” (magazine “Ukht Ararati”, No. 1 (19), March-April 2010), we detailed three options for resolving the conflict that were not accepted to the attention of the OSCE Minsk Group. The reason for this is the desire to necessarily give the problem a political solution, because of which the very essence of the conflict was distorted, and, naturally, its settlement was distorted.
As political scientist, professor Alexander Manasyan rightly notes: “Since the problem is politicized, neither in the OSCE Minsk Group, where negotiations on the Karabakh conflict have been held for almost two decades, nor in the UN, nor in any other international competent authority has so far presented the “Legal package of the Karabakh conflict” (Alexander Manasyan, “The Karabakh conflict. The minimum package of political and legal facts and arguments”, publishing house “Tigran Mets”, Yerevan, 2008, p. 6).
Meanwhile, anticipating the likelihood of a conflict, the Special Commission of the Paris Peace Conference on February 24, 1920, presented a special Proposal Report on the demarcation of the border between the State of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, the 100th anniversary which marks the 24 February 2020.
This report clarifies the principles of border demarcation, which states: «As regards the boundary between the State of Armenia and Georgia and with Azerbaijan as well, the Commission considers that it is advisable for the present to await for the results of refinement of the mentioned boundaries that the three Republics will achieve in agreements themselves. In the event that these Republics do not come to an agreement on their boundaries, this issue must be handled to the arbitration of the League of Nations that would appoint an Interallied Commission to settle above-mentioned boundaries on the spot – taking into account ethnographical data as the principle».
Political scientist Ara Papyan writes about this in the article “Armenian-Azerbaijani border”: “The only legal document on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is the Report-proposal of the Special Commission of the Paris Assembly of February 24, 1920, according to which the right to demarcate the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was granted to the League of Nations. Therefore, the UN, as the successor to the League of Nations and, in particular, the UN Security Council, as the authorized body of the main Allied forces, are obliged to carry out this demarcation of borders, taking as a basis the data on the national distribution for November-December 1920. The current national distribution cannot be the basis for border demarcation, since is a consequence of the criminal Azerbaijani policy of deportation and ethnic cleansing, and the consequences of a crime cannot give rise to rights: “Ex injuria non oritur jus” (See Ara Papyan, Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Expertise in accordance with international law, “Ukht Ararati”, 2 (16), November-December, 2008, p. 11).
Moreover, this principle and the decision on the demarcation of the border between the State of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan were included in the Sevres Peace Treaty as Article 92, which states: «The frontiers between Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia respectively will be determined by direct agreement between the States concerned. If in either case the States concerned have failed to determine the frontier by agreement at the date of the decision referred to in Article 89, the frontier line in question will be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, who will also provide for its being traced on the spot».
The noted document was also included in the Complete Report on the Arbitral Award of the 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson of November 22, 1920 – as the 2nd document of the 1st Appendix.
It is very noteworthy that in his letter to the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers, dated November 22, 1920, the 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson, in connection with his Arbitral Award, emphasized: «It was essential to keep in mind that the new state of Armenia, including as it will a large section of the former Armenian provinces of Transcaucasian Russia».
In fact, with regard to the rights granted to the Armenian people during 1920, at the Paris Peace Conference and the Conference in San Remo (meeting of the Supreme Council of the victorious powers on April 19-26, 1920), decisions were made that were subsequently included as the Sevres Peace Treaty and in the Arbitral Award of the 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson, as well as in other decisions made regarding the state of Armenia, including the Proposal Report of the Special Commission of the Paris Peace Conference “On the demarcation between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan” dated February 24, 1920.
It remains to ask։ Does the OSCE Minsk Group know about all these decisions? Or it continues to follow the unacceptable practice of some actors of the international community, who, since the 1920s, have been trying at any cost to ignore and block the solution of the Armenian issue.
Otherwise how to explain that the negotiation package on the Karabakh conflict does not contain the Report-proposal of the Special Commission of the Paris Peace Conference “On the demarcation between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan” dated February 24, 1920. Instead, however, it includes the so-called Madrid principles, which initially distort both the very essence of the conflict and the possibility of its just and final settlement.
We must emphasize that all those who either do not want a peaceful settlement of the conflict or bypass the mechanisms of legal settlement are in fact provoking a new war and genocide.
This applies both to the final and just solution of the Armenian issue in the Middle East, and to the issue of demarcation of the border between the state of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, in accordance with the Report-proposal of the Special Commission of the Paris Peace Conference “On the demarcation between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan” dated February 24 1920, with the obligatory consideration of ethnographic data on the national distribution as of November – December 1920.
Based on the above facts, the Republic of Western Armenia (Armenia) on August 7, 2019 applied to the United Nations with a Statement «On the demarcation of the border between the State of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan», which is the fourth Statement sent to the UN.
The text of the Statement can be found at: https://wa.nt.am/en/archives/10851
President of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Western Armenia
February 24, 2020