The 65thsession of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is being held in Geneva
High level official delegation of Azerbaijan is in Switzerland in order to participate in the 65thsession of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) held in Palais des Nations in Geneva on September 29. Delegation headed by Ali Hasanov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Chairman of State Committee for Refugees and IDPs and with the participation of Chief of the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, III rank state migration service counselor Firudin Nabiyev, represents our country in the session.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, Chairperson of the Executive Committee Choi Seok-young, Special Advisor of UN Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration of Namibia (on behalf of the Africa Group) Pendukeni Iivula Ithana, as well as heads of several international organizations and delegations made speeches on the first day of the session. They mentioned that the problem of refugee and internally displaced persons in different regions of world, especially in Africa has become more serious, 3 million and 12.5 million persons live respectively as refugees and internally displaced in this continent, furthermore, more than 700 persons are stateless.
Delivering a speech at the session Deputy Prime minister, Chairman of State Committee for Refugees and IDPs, Ali Hasanov firstly expressed his gratitude to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the timely initiative on discussion about the situation of refugees in the continent of Africa within the framework of the high segment in the current session of the Executive Committee.“Azerbaijan as a country suffering from the problems relating to the occupation of one fifth of its internationally recognized territory by its neighbour Armenia for more than 20 years is well aware of the entire burden of the problems experienced by the countries of Africa,” he specially emphasized.
Chairman of State Committee noted that not being indifferent to the humanitarian problems of this continent, the Azerbaijani government is continuing to expand its humanitarian activity both with the line of international organizations and on a bilateral basis within its capacities. Newly established International Development Agency (AIDA) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the government of Azerbaijan is implementing numerous humanitarian projects in different parts of the world, including African countries. Along with it, humanitarian charity event was held together with the international organizations in South Sudan with the initiative of the Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs.Leyla Aliyeva: “We urge the international community to demonstrate a fair position, not limit itself to humanitarian activities and take necessary political steps to eliminate the root causes of the problem. Azerbaijan is one of the countries who suffer from the long-term problems of internally displaced persons. Districts adjacent to the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan have been completely destroyed. During the visit to the occupied territories and evaluation of the existing situation by the two fact-finding missions of OSCE, this organization noted that the destructions were considerably higher and confirmed that ethnic Armenians from other countries were settled in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Demographic disbalance of the occupied territories and the process of forced resettlement continue to the present day”.
Deputy Prime minister mentioned that in July of the current year, Dilgam Asgarov, Shahbaz Guliyev and Hasan Hasanov were taken hostages while visiting the graves of their ancestors in Kalbajar district of Azerbaijan, which was occupied by Armenians:“One of them- internally displaced person Hasan Hasanov was killed while he was being taken hostage. Armenian side accuses these civilians of allegedly committing sabotage. They are held captive in the hands of Armenians and are subject to inhumane treatment there. All these are the serious violations of international law, as well as the fourth Geneva Convention. We demand the immediate return of our fellow citizens, including the dead body of Hasanov. We also call on UN and its related agencies, including other international organizations to exert pressure on Armenia and to help the returning of the abovementioned citizens. As it was mentioned in the four resolutions of UN Security Council and resolution of UN General Assembly, including several documents adopted by international organizations, creation of the opportunity for Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons to return is extremely important for the comprehensive protection of people from this category”.
Chairman of State Committee emphasized that solution of the problems of internally displaced persons and their protection requires comprehensive approach, as well as drafting relevant international convention project.
It should be mentioned that discussions at the session which will be last till October 3 are held in two parts. The issue of “Expanding international cooperation, solidarity, local potentials and humanitarian activities for refugees in Africa” is discussed in high-level segment. During general debate of the session opinion exchange will be conducted on present crisis and innovations in long-term refugee situation, minority of solutions in comparison with new mobility in record number, insufficiency of paucity of humanitarian resources for meeting rising demands, need for more political will and international cooperation in the prevention and solution of conflicts and mobility.