We present the letter of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
October 6, 2020
The Honorable António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres
Secretary – General of the United Nations
United Nations, S-233
New York, NY 10017
Honorable Secretary-General Guterres,
It is with great distress that we write this letter to alarm you about the ongoing onslaught on civilians and civilian infrastructures in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. There is substantial evidence and proof of the use of cluster munitions and other weapons of mass destruction by Azerbaijan.
We draw your kind attention to the statement issued by Amnesty International on October 5, 2020.
“Over the weekend, footage consistent with the use of cluster munitions in the city of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, was published by the region’s de facto authorities. They also reported an unidentified number of civilian casualties after further shelling in Stepanakert and the town of Shushi. Amnesty International’s Crisis Response experts were able to trace the location of the footage to residential areas of Stepanakert, and identified Israeli-made M095 DPICM cluster munitions that appear to have been fired by Azerbaijani forces.”
The use of the cluster munitions by Azerbaijan is a direct violation of The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), the international treaty that prohibits the use, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster bombs, a type of explosive weapon which scatters submunitions ("bomblets") over an area. The convention was adopted on 30 May 2008 in Dublin.
Azerbaijan is committing a war crime, targeting innocent civilians and the international press. Since September 27, Armenia has been fighting international terrorism backed by the genocidal government of Turkey. According to Russian and French intelligence as well as numerous reports by the international press including interviews and video footage, NATO member Turkey is smuggling jihadist terrorists from Libya and Syria into Azerbaijan to fight against the first Christian nation in the world.
We are also deeply concerned about Israel’s sale of weaponry of mass destruction to Azerbaijan. It is truly disturbing to know that the actions of the State of Israel does not in any way reflect the shared pain of our people.
It is the expectation of my people in Armenia and Diaspora that the necessary steps be taken by the United Nations to immediately halt and vehemently condemn the use of weapons of mass destruction by Azerbaijan.
The Armenian nation pursues a just cause, defending its ancestral lands of thousands of years. True to its mission, the United Nations ought to ensure international peace and security.
The massacre of innocent people on a daily basis leave no room for double standards, hypocrisy, political correctness, or weightless statements.
With great urgency, Honorable Secretary-General, we call upon you to utilize your diplomatic connections, power, and authority to immediately issue a cease-fire order.
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian