hCa: Statement on the Peace Process in the South Caucasus


To: minelres-l@riga.lv
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 1998 20:37:01 -0800
From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Subject: hCa: Statement on the Peace Process in the South Caucasus

From: MINELRES moderator    <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Natalia Belitser    <natbel@orlyk.gluk.apc.org>

hCa: Statement on the Peace Process in the South Caucasus


Regional South Caucasus Coordination Meeting of Helsinki
Citizens' Assembly.

Tbilisi, 3-5 February 1998

Statement on the Peace Process in the South-Caucasus

The participants of the hCa Transcaucasian Coordinators' Meeting,

- welcoming the more active approach from the side of the international
community to encourage a peace process of 'rapproachement' in the conflicts
of the South-Caucasus (Nagorno-Karabagh, Abkhazia and
South-Ossetia /Tskhinvali),

- considering the wide-spread distrust in regional society and strong public
reactions against this peace process,

- taking into particular consideration the latest development of the situation
in Armenia, and the actual changes of political leadership,

wish to stress the following:

1. The peace process, in particular concerning Nagorno-Karabagh, should
be not only be continued, but be intensified by civil society actors, engaged
in looking for pathways for reconciliation of the sides of conflict. Since the
official process conducted by the Minsk Group, is now being 'frozen' again,
our joint responsibility for a new 'detente policy from below' is increased.

2. We express our concern, that this stagnation will effect the peace process
concerning Abkhazia and South-Ossetia (Tskhinvali), as well.

3. We emphasize our deep mutual understanding, reached during the
discussions by all participants representing local hCa branches of the
South-Caucasus. In particular, we affirm our shared commitment to cooperate
for legal protection of minority rights and rehabilitation of victimized
communities as ways of conflict prevention and peace-building.

4. We request the international community to give all support and
encouragement to the local hCa branches for fostering national and
in the South-Caucasus.

5. We request particular support of the continuation of direct and visible
'citizens diplomacy' on the spot, as conducted by the hCa branches, on the
shortest possible term, such as:

a) the planned meeting of Armenian and Karabagh-Armenian conflict analystis
and civic activists in Baku, within the framework of the Minority Rights
Conference (Annex).

b) mutual visits of TV-journalists, proposed in the same framework .

c) meeting of Armenian and Karabagh-Armenian intellectuals in Stepanakert .

6. Among the topics discussed, several concrete projects aimed at regional
cooperation in conflict settlement, were agreed upon as ways to adress the
perpetuating war trauma's in society:

a) organising a subregional South-Caucasian educational program for
presenting minority communities, their problems, specific as well as related to
international and regional legal instruments to ensure better protection of their
rights; and creating a TV channel for this purpose.

b) organising international peace camps for children and youth from refugees
and IDP's communities at the territory of a 'third side' (which is not engaged in
the particular conflict), as well as in Crimea (also involving other conflict zones
in the Caucasus /Black Sea space, annex).

c) implementing a regional program of cross-cultural family exchange visits

d) regionalisation of specific forms of the 'Peace Service' model (as created
by hCa Committee Azerbaijan, in cooperation with Foundation Global
Community, annex).

7. We invite the Executive Council of hCa to give due priority to the elaboration
and realisation of these proposals, as part of a more general approach of
peace-building in the conflict zones of the Caucasus /Black Sea space.

Tbilisi, 4 February 1998

Participants:

Arzu Abdualaeva (hCa Azerbaijani)

Nelli Alelova (hCa Armenia)

Vagif Jengirov (hCa Azerbaijan /Nagorno-Karabagh)

Karen Ohanjanian (hCa 'Initiative 92' Nagorno-Karabagh)

Julia Kharashvili (hCa Georgian /IDP Women from Abchasia)

Alexander Russetsky (hCa Georgia)

Facilitators:

Natalia Belitser (hCa Executive Council /Ukraine)

Marten van Harten (hCa Liaison Transcaucasus)

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