Lemkin Institute expresses support to Artsakh’s right to self-determination in order to avoid genocide

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention voiced its solidarity with and support for the people of the Republic of Artsakh in a statement released on November 24.

“The Lemkin Institute voices its solidarity with and support for the people of the Republic of Artsakh, who turned out in Stepanakert on October 30th in historic numbers to rally for the self-determination of the territory”, the statement titled “Self-Determination of Armenians in Artsakh (South Caucasus): There is No Peace or Prosperity through Genocide”, said.

The Institute reminds that the right to self-determination is one of the most important fundamentals of the international legal system along with the equal sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, stating that “the people of Artsakh deserve to have their calls for self-determination heard and taken seriously by the international community”.

The statement also briefly presents the history of the change in status of Artsakh, the two Artsakh Wars and the resulting situation.

The Institute also says that the international community should not ignore “the consequences of the Armenian genocide in the region, which completely eradicated the Armenian presence in Western Armenia”, as well as “the ongoing and unchecked genocidal hostility of Azeri nationalists towards Armenians”.

“What the Western world, and particularly NATO, fails to understand is that “giving up” Artsakh would mean condoning genocide against Armenians: the forced displacement and persecution of Armenians, widespread atrocity crimes, destruction of cultural heritage, and one of the largest humanitarian crises in the Caucasus region in the past decades, involving a huge influx of refugees to Armenia proper. Importantly, given the current red flags for genocide in Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as what we know about the genocidal process in general, it is inconceivable that “giving up” Artsakh will put an end to conflict in the region, much less lead to “peace” and “prosperity””, the statement says.

The Lemkin Institute calls for the creation of an independent international commission to study the issues involved in Artsakh, with the aim of establishing a just outcome and a stable peace.