As the World Watches and Remains Silent… ARS Statement – The humanitarian crisis in Artsakh

The Armenian Relief Society, a member of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), along with its entities in 27 different countries dispersed on all four continents of the Globe, strongly condemns the ongoing blockade of Artsakh imposed by the government of Azerbaijan since December 12, 2022, which is blocking all humanitarian aid and essential utility supplies from entering the region and reaching the people of Artsakh.

While the world complicitly watches and more than hundreds of human rights organizations remain dead silent, the Azerbaijani government, through its blockade, continues its oppression and inhumane acts perpetrated toward the more than hundred thousand residents of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) by cutting off basic utilities to all residents, depriving pregnant women of essential healthcare and access to prenatal care, subjecting children to suffer from malnutrition and lack of medicine, assuring that the ailing elderly population is unable to attain medical care, and ensuring that the hospitals are unable to treat patients as they face depletion of much needed medical supplies.

As of June 15, 2023, the Azerbaijani government has totally blocked all humanitarian aid to Artsakh including basic food supplies and medicine which have resulted in preventable illnesses turning into life-threatening conditions, leaving the most vulnerable population, women, children, and the elderly of Artsakh in desperate and dire need of assistance who are bearing the brunt of this devastating conflict where their very existence is threatened.

It is with profound concern that we witness the unbearable state the native Artsakh people have been subjected to by the blockade enacted by the Azerbaijani government. In the 21st century, like any civilized world, the children of Artsakh have the right to thrive and enjoy their childhood without worrying about survival and being robbed of their innocence.

We express our deep frustration and disappointment with the collective failure of the international community to condemn and effectively address the blockade in Artsakh. The prolonged inaction and silence in the face of this crisis are unacceptable, and we urgently call upon all nations and international organizations to rally together and act decisively by urging the oppressor to adhere to basic humanitarian principles and lift the blockade of Artsakh.

We appeal to the civilized world and nations to unite their voices and exercise their moral duty in safeguarding innocent lives. We stand united in our commitment to stopping any acts of genocide or crimes against humanity committed under our watch.

In conclusion, we reiterate our call for immediate action to address the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh. The time for inaction has passed, and the time for compassion, solidarity, and decisive action is now. Together, let us fulfill our responsibility to protect human rights, preserve lives, and work towards a lasting peace in the region.

Armenian Relief Society, Inc. 

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