Elnur Aslanov. How to deal with UN Security Council?

Tue 04 Mar 2014 09:22 GMT | 13:22 Local Time

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We will mark 21st anniversary of the first of four resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict very soon, in April 2014. Resolutions No. 822, 853, 874 and 884 were adopted more than 20 years ago, back in 1993.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly pointed to double standards in international politics, in particular, to the fact that some of the UN Security Council resolutions are implemented immediately, sometimes even within a few hours after they are adopted, but four resolutions adopted on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict more than two decades ago still remain on the paper.

International political observers often use the word "relic" in relation to the UN Security Council, attaching two main ideas to the use of this term.

The first implies a lack of activity while the second one implies reverence, despite that the organization is more like a relic of the past.

The archaism of this highest international structure seems to be hard to broken down. All governments would like to reorganize it, but the Council remains unapproachable.

The UN Security Council was set up to support global peace and security on the Earth, in other words, to prevent situations that could lead to war and to adopt immediate measures in order to solve a conflict in case of a threat to peace and an act of aggression.

However, as the events in Rwanda, Darfur region in Sudan, or in Nagorno-Karabakh showed, many UN Security Council resolutions (for example, over 100 UN Security Council resolutions have not been executed since 1968) have remained on paper and none of them have been executed.

However, the UN Security Council holds many levers of pressure on those who do not obey rules, for example, adopting threatening resolutions and authorizing the use of force to maintain or restore peace.

The provisions of the four UN Security Council resolutions that reaffirm the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, demand an immediate ceasefire, cessation of hostilities and withdrawal of occupying forces from the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan have not yet been fulfilled.

Moreover, some international mediators who are famous for issuing great reports very often forget about these resolutions.

The longer the conflict will be protracted, the harder it will be to find a point of contact in positions of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno Karabakh. The history shows that mechanisms leading to economic, political, social and psychological changes in society come into effect at a time when an armed conflict becomes protracted.

Aggressive politics, undeclared war and seizure of a part of lands of another state by Armenia suggests that Yerevan violates universally accepted norms and principles of contemporary international law which clearly shows the model behavior and stipulates for refraining from any action aimed at violation of territorial integrity of another state.

As a result of this, Armenia has ended up in an isolation that led to socio-economic crisis in the country which can be tackled through interstate regional economic cooperation and integration.

Capital market development in Armenia has stalled as one of the natural mechanisms of economic growth, which is further aggravated by a presence of monopolies, technological backwardness and huge external debt.

Thus, from an economic standpoint, an artificial delay of negotiations on a peaceful settlement to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on part of Yerevan, as well as Armenia's failure to comply with UN Security Council resolutions hinder regional development paralyzing the development of Armenia itself.

Having territorial, cultural, historical and moral-psychological claims to three of its four neighbors (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey), Armenia has driven itself into a dead end and is on the verge of an economic and political collapse.

Today Azerbaijan plays an important role not only in the energy field, but also in determining geopolitical trends in Eurasia, while the national strategy is aimed at positioning Azerbaijan as a regional power with global initiatives.

South Caucasus region can step onto a qualitatively new stage of development due to such a potential and policy of Azerbaijan.

However, unresolved conflicts in the region represent a very serious threat from a standpoint of serious humanitarian consequences associated with a large number of refugees and victims among the civilian population and may undermine a process of economic development and multilateral economic cooperation.

Inability (or reluctance) to exert pressure on an occupier country like Armenia once again demonstrates the inability of the Security Council to respond effectively to breach of a peace and security on the part of the UN member countries.

Recent events that evolved in Syria and in other parts of the world clearly demonstrate that the permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France often acted and continue to act beyond the rules adopted by this international organization.

Many international political observers and diplomats seek to justify the existence of the UN Security Council arguing that it is better than nothing. However, such a stance can hardly justify the situation. Permanent members of the UN Security Council have different approaches and various ways of settling problems and ideological and moral differences become a stumbling block in the work of the UN Security Council and do not contribute to resolution of international conflicts.

Working mechanisms and double standards of the Security Council do not allow it to adequately perform its duties and to maintain peace. UN Security system needs to be improved, because as there can be no difference in a scale of the human tragedy, there should either be no classifying of resolutions "aimed at maintaining international peace and security" into those which are "important" and those which are "less important."

Elnur Aslanov,

Head of Political Analysis and Information Department at the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan




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