The WPF Presidency on the Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh

April 2nd, 2016

The Presidency of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” deplores that the cease-fire between the parties of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the Southern Caucasus has been seriously violated once more. It is the deep conviction of the members of the WPF Presidency – Founding President Vladimir Yakunin, Professor at Notre Dame University Fred Dallmayr, former Austrian Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer and former Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer – that there is no military solution for the more than 25 years old conflict. The struggle between the right to self-determination and the right to territorial integrity cannot be decided by weapons but only through negotiations and a genuine dialogue between the peoples and the states concerned.

The WPF Presidency therefore calls upon the armed forces in the region to refrain from further military action and to immediately cease firing. The future of Armenia and Azerbaijan can only be about reconciliation, assuming past history, learning how to live with one’s neighbors, accepting and enjoying diversity. Leaders of both countries have been committed to these goals and tried several times in bilateral meetings at the highest level to find solutions for the conflict and to clear the path for good neighborhood of their peoples in the Southern Caucasus. The WPF Presidency appeals to the leaders of the two nations to reassume these efforts and thereby to fulfill their historic mandate.

The World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” is ready to assist in this process. We are prepared to set up a special working group of experts from the countries concerned and their neighborhood that could work out new acceptable principles for dialogue and conflict prevention in the times of turbulence.

Baku, the capital of one of the two countries concerned, will be at the end of April the venue of the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. The WPF Founding President Vladimir Yakunin will participate in the Forum and convey at this very particular opportunity a message of dialogue, reconciliation and peace.

The Executive Committee of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” is pleased to invite interested experts, researchers and representatives of business to participate in this working group.

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