Karen Bekaryan: Consolidated Work is Needed in Regard with PACE Reports
The reports “Escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan“ approved by Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of PACE and “Inhabitants of frontier regions of Azerbaijan are deliberately deprived of water“ by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of PACE in the form of resolutions will be presented for voting during PACE winter session. In an interview with our media partner “Armedia“ IAA the Chairman of NGO “European Integration“, RA NA Deputy Karen Bekaryan talked about the importance of the reports, the possible response and actions of Armenia.
- During the last month two anti-Armenian reports have been approved in PACE, which in the form of resolutions will be included on the agenda of PACE winter session. According to you, what importance and weight do these resolutions have and how can they impact on the positions of the sides in the context of Karabakh conflict?
- First of all we should fix that they do not have any legal force, which, however, does not mean that we should not take them seriously, as they have quite a big influence on the so called “political background” and in that context they are having their destructive role in the negotiation process and in the position of Azerbaijan in that process. This means that such kind of discussions, especially if they become PACE resolutions, will make Azerbaijan even more unruly: Azerbaijan will consider it as an impetus to its actions and a new justification for them. This in turn will have its reflection in several directions: first, senseless toughening of position in the negotiation process; second, more cynicism and audacity in the rhetoric and of course, the third and the most important one, reflection on the situation on both RA-Azerbaijani and NKR-Azerbaijani border.
In this regard one of our most essential and most important tasks is, putting aside the “caviar diplomacy” and other different approaches (by the way objective approaches), to make our European partners, deputies understand that they are responsible for the blood that is being shed, for all those human lives and humanitarian problems, that Azerbaijan creates with its ruthless behavior.
This is a major problem for us, because we live with that, we see and feel that. Consequently, if our European partners do this, imagining and understanding all quite well, it is another question. But if they do this without acknowledging its seriousness, this is something else and one should make them understand that their decisions influence human lives – civilians in the RA and NKR and the military.
- You mentioned that we need to make the deputies come to a certain perception. According to you, what tools are needed for that? Is it only PACE delegation’s mission or do other layers of society also have work to do?
- Recently we have heard a lot of opinions and based on those opinions attempts have been made to assess the activities of PACE delegation. In reality, we will make a great mistake, if we try to find guilty ones, particularly among PACE delegates. This is neither a right approach, nor a just one, when we speak about bringing the deputies to a certain perception. In this regard we should take into account that this is everyone’s job and different institutions have their big work to do – from those responsible for foreign policy, the whole state system to civil society, media, common citizens, who have friends, relatives, contacts abroad.
The problem is now whether we perceive the seriousness and challenges so much that we carry out consolidated work in all directions. I think No. And now to try to direct everything against PACE delegates is not a right thing to do. There is also the second thing – if there are issues to be reviewed in the work of the delegation, this again does not have anything with the members, but first of all with functional and methodological problems.
Have we given certain orders to our delegation on their functions? Do we have mechanisms to measure the effectiveness of their activities? And if we have not made them up, how are we measuring the effectiveness of their performance? According to the loudness of the noise? And, therefore we come to the conclusion, that we have work to do for the functioning of the instruments of the parliamentary democracy. Those instrument must be clarified enough, expectations from each of them – both tactical and strategic – should be simple. In that case, therefore, for each of the instruments (Committee on Foreign Relations of the National Assembly, friendship groups, inter-parliamentary commissions, delegations) orders and reports should be clear and simple.
If we get to this methodology (as it seems to me, the current situation “is an alert” that we must pass to this methodology), if it is applied and we remain dissatisfied with the delegation (not necessarily from PACE delegation, in general), or from one of the members of the delegation, it will be an entirely different matter. And now, when you do not have all of the above – how do we measure the effectiveness of their activities? According to what parameters are we trying to find the culprits?
Finally, there is a third element – it is not the time for that. That is, if we now have the task of consolidating all resources for the January session, to neutralize the danger that comes from the resolution of Walter, or from Sarsang resolution (from projects that may become resolutions), should we spend our energy on pointless arguments – who is guilty? .. We are all to be blamed!
- What are our maximum and minimum expectation from the PACE winter session? And what should our position be?
- Instead of complaining and trying to find reasons why we do not manage to raise the issues about “caviar diplomacy” and about the cases when this or that person is being sold, in our work with any European institutions, PACE included, we should work with facts, with people and based on situation… We should work on permanent bases even having those obstacles in front of us and we should coordinate our work.
Moreover, both the Council of Europe and PACE are our houses as we are their full member. In this sense the public moods, according to which there is a barricade between us and the Council of Europe, are not normal. I realize that there are complains, however in general such kind of barricading has never led to effective results. What refers to particularly winter session then there is a very important axiom- the work with international institutions should not be limited to the days of a session, it should be a permanent work. It is not necessary to be on a business trip and only then start working. It is an every-hour work.
I will be optimistic in case everything is planned and all the resources are coordinated. It can be possible if the whole system is consolidated and everything is not put on the shoulders of the delegation members. And in case of success perhaps one day we will thank Walter for two things: his actions made us realize the necessity of consolidating all the resources, which in case of success will become our signature. It will become a precedent and then our signature. However, there is also a second reason for which Walter deserves gratitude. But before expressing gratitude, the following should be perceived, digested and carried out.
It is not possible for the two sides on the negotiation table to always feel constrained both towards the co-chairs and the sides, when the third side does not. Instead, on the permanent basis the third raises the issue in different places to achieve the results like Walter’s report or Sarsang report to include it in its dossier. Consequently, Walter has become a good reason for us to understand that until the co-chairs reache the resolution of the conflict or are able (I don’t want to say that they do not want) to prevent such kind of situations, both RA and NKR should have their own action plans. This is a great signal for us to have and realize such plans.
And finally don’t we have a message to deliver during the same winter session, in our house called Council of Europe? Why do some people think that our message should start and end only with the struggle against those resolutions? As an example look please what happens with the ethic people in Turkey, what happens with the Kurds in the pretext of the struggle against the IS. Pay attention to those closed zones, where the access of journalists as well as that of local and international figures is banned. Tomorrow, once any of those closed zones is opened, we will observe the elements of the population annihilation.
In spite of the attempts to hide everything, the information about it leaks. For example, a body of Kurdish guy is tied to a car and in that way is dragged in the villages, the cases of people gathering and dancing around the corpses of the Kurdish family, firing in the air for joy, shooting civilians in the pretext of search. What does all this mean? Isn’t this an issue that should be raised in our house, Council of Europe. We need to prepare a resolution on this.
The simple thing to mention is the recent shameful parliamentary elections in Turkey. There will be a necessity of the recognition of Turkish new delegation’s mandate in the session. It will be a new delegation that came as a result of the new elections. Should it be absolutely, easily recognized?
A very recent example: look what is happening in Nardaran. Isn’t it an issue of a discussion in the PACE? Doesn’t it deserve an attention and isn’t there a necessity to prepare a resolution on that.
I state it once more, if we up to now felt constrained on the negotiation table, the present situation allows us act freely. If any side tries to gain political dividends by expressing its “concerns” (Sarsang is a perfect example of it – political dividend by invented concern) then what hinders us to raise our real concerns in our house and try to achieve certain results on making our neighborhood safer. In both cases we deal with our neighbors; a fact that should be paid attention to.