A group of around ninety peace-building activists from the South Caucasus and from across the world have issued a statement on the ongoing fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. In their statement they warn about the risk of destabilisation throughout the Caucasus and of a new humanitarian crisis.
The following is the text of the statement in full:
As people actively engaged in promoting peace in the South Caucasus, we are extremely alarmed about the escalation of hostilities around Nagorny Karabakh and the resulting deaths of peaceful civilians.
We speak out in support of our Armenian and Azerbaijani friends and colleagues, and to all those who, understanding the catastrophe of war for ordinary people, have persistently sought ways to further peace in the most difficult circumstances and unfavourable political and geopolitical conditions.
We are deeply concerned that without an immediate end to hostilities, there is a risk of further destabilisation throughout the Caucasus and of a new humanitarian crisis.
It is regretful that existing instruments and mechanisms for the regulation of the conflict have been unable to avert this military escalation and that it hasn't proved possible to enforce the ceasefire, let alone conclude a peace agreement.
Efforts invested in objective investigations of border incidents and assessments of provocative acts have proved insufficient. There has been insufficient deployment of the full range of international tools to encourage the conflicting parties to adopt peaceful solutions.
These bloody conflicts in the Caucasus emerged with the collapse of the Soviet empire nearly 30 years ago, but today we are living in different times. The inertia of this violence must not be allowed to be passed on to the next generations along with the hatred, destruction and war.
Today, the interdependence of people from different countries is increasingly felt, whether in terms of energy, clean water, climate change or pandemics. All the more dangerous and unacceptable then is the crude clarification of relations between conflicting parties through the use of force.
New times require new approaches - maybe not so quick and simple, but more peaceful, humane and long-term.
Understanding the complexity and danger of the current situation, we still hope that people of goodwill will prevail over the inertia of war and find a way to a just and sustainable peace.
We call on all parties, including the international community, to take decisive measures to end hostilities and to begin a new phase of the peace process.
The statement is signed by:
de Waal Tom
photo: The Caucasus Mountains (archive picture)
Tehran has launched shuttle diplomacy and announced an "Iranian Plan". In this analysis Noman Ahmed says Iran seeks to reduce risks and costs for itself from the ongoing conflict