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R. Huseynov: Peace and Security in the South Caucasus

Address to the International Leadership Conference in Seoul, Korea, February 2012

It has become a tradition at the beginning of each new year for the Universal Peace Federation to assemble Ambassadors for Peace, religious and political leaders from different nations, for a meeting where they can communicate and share their opinions about how to stabilize interreligious and international relations for the sake of world peace.

Unfortunately, the first years of the 21st century did not correspond to the desires of true champions of peace. I always remember the words of the UPF Founder that to become a worthy owner of creation, people should not live for their own sake alone. True owners are those who live for others and serve the common purpose or the purpose of the whole.

A civilized community has a vital interest in people’s attitudes and approaches becoming predominantly humanitarian and not aggressive. There is no other purpose in the world as important as solidarity in thinking and joint activity for the sake of harmony and prosperity within the human community.

The history of humankind has witnessed many crucial moments. The philosophies of the East and West took different directions, but Dr. Moon has discovered the way to unite the views of East and West. At this conference, there are peace-loving leaders with vast life experiences. It is of utmost importance that we find the ways to eradicate undesirable critical moments which impede trends toward harmony and world peace. The more effectively we can involve state governments in solving the above-mentioned problems, the more valued will be our efforts. Any nation of the world that could solve the most urgent human problems and demonstrate practical examples of their eradication could become a public and moral leader deserving to be respected and imitated.

As Ambassadors for Peace, we should go beyond the interests of our nation, race, culture, and religion; we should consider the well-being and peace of all humankind according to the fundamental principles of our Federation.

Now I would like to share a few words about the situation in my country. Already 15 years have passed since part of the Azerbaijan territory was taken away and acts of terror began to proliferate. Despite the “efforts” of the “Minsk Group” and frequent assurances of quick success, the conditions related to the conflict remain unchanged.

Could it be that politicians ignore the fact that territorial integrity and the right of self-determination are two mutually contradictory principles? Therefore, could this be the reason why both the mediators and the international community have been unable to bridge the gap?

In March of this coming year, we will convene the next meeting of leaders from Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, at Russia's initiative. Our position in Baku is clear; on the contrary, on the part of Yerevan there is nothing but complete ambiguity. While Azerbaijan rejects the territorial issue as the focus of discussion and proposes to establish the highest status for the Armenian minority, Armenia continues to be evasive and insist on the priority of the principle of self-determination for minority ethnic groups.

Obviously the leaders of Russia, the nation that in many ways promoted  the temporary truce between Baku and Yerevan in 1994, should also try to bring into line the behavior of their unruly ally in the South Caucasus. The acts of the latter are hard to understand and beyond prognosis within the framework of general peacemaking efforts. In order to cancel the mediation of Russia and the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), it would be important to use methods of active influence upon the aggressor-nation that grossly tramples on the letter of international law. Otherwise, I doubt that the problem can be resolved. Such is the official position of my national government.

One thing looks quite obvious: to solve the problem we do not need new approaches but rather the political will from those who took upon themselves the burden of mediation. War is being waged within the territory of Azerbaijan; therefore, the victim of the aggression is obvious, and this is unambiguously pointed out in the text of the four resolutions issued by the UN Security Council in 1993.

To conquer the Karabakh disease of the Armenians, it would be necessary to compel Yerevan to accept the proposition of the impossibility of revising the sovereign borders of Azerbaijan.

Dear friends, I offer my apologies for my excessive openness and the vigor of my expressions; they are all for the benefit of peace. The situation in the modern world supports the view that representatives of UN member-states should cease unwanted “political games” and adhere to the interests of their compatriots, whom they should protect.

I hope and believe that the peace-loving positions of the highly esteemed Dr. Moon and the UPF leadership, as well as the decisions of the present forum, will take even more concrete form and become more purposeful. Then, we as Ambassadors for Peace will also be accordingly valued.

For more information about UPF-Eurasia's South Caucasus Peace Initiative, click here.