IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsNew Approaches to Settling the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

 

print print  |  share share back back


The mountains of Nagorno-Karabakh (Flickr)

Panel Discussions - Monday, May 26, 2014

New Approaches to Settling the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

On May 26th, the IPI Vienna office organized an off-the-record meeting close to Bern, Switzerland, to discuss new approaches to resolving the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The region of Nagorno-Karabakh was the scene of heavy fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan between 1992 and 1994. While a cease-fire was signed in 1994, over the past twenty years, tensions have persisted between the parties, particularly along the Line of Contact.

International negotiations are led by Russia, the United States, and France in their capacities as chairing countries of the Minsk Group (established in 1992) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Basic principles for a settlement to the conflict were identified in Madrid in November 2007. They call, inter alia, for:

• return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control;
• an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance;
• a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh;
• future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will;
• the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence; and
• international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation. Thus far, there is no agreement on these principles.

Switzerland, in its capacity as chairman of the OSCE in 2014, is supporting the co-chairs of the Minsk Group in order to give a new impetus to the settlement process. As part of its support to the Swiss chairmanship, IPI brought together civil society representatives from the region, security analysts on the Caucasus, NGOs involved in Track II diplomacy in the region, as well as members of the OSCE Secretariat and Swiss OSCE chairmanship to look at the current situation, and to discuss ways of reducing tensions. Ambassador John Maresca, former US co-chair of the Minsk Group and one of the pioneers of the Minsk process, also took part.

The main focus was on how Track II initiatives could more effectively complement the negotiation process. To that end, the co-chairmen of the Minsk process—Ambassador Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Jacques Faure of France, and Ambassador James Warlick of the United States of America—as well as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office for the conflict dealt with by the Minsk Group, Andrezj Kasprzyk, took part in the latter part of the meeting, in order to be briefed on Track II initiatives and to share ideas with civil society representatives.

This was the second meeting on the South Caucasus facilitated by IPI in cooperation with the Swiss OSCE chairmanship. “This unique format enables us to bring together practitioners who do complimentary work, but seldom have the opportunity to meet,” said Ambassador Angelo Gnädinger, Special Representative of the Swiss OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus.

The Global Observatory

Killing of al-Shabaab Leader Throws Future of Militant Group into Question
In the short term, the killing of Godane is likely to result in more violent attacks, but longer-term consequences are hard to predict.

Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

September 19, 2014
Madani: Extremist Group Actions “Cannot be Associated with Any Religion”
Iyad Madani, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), reaffirmed at IPI the Muslim world’s commitment to religious tolerance and human rights and sought to distance Islam from the recent violent actions at the hands of extremist groups across Africa and the Middle East.

September 15, 2014
Despite Disaffection, Youth Still Engaged with Democracy
Young people around the world appear increasingly disaffected with politics and political institutions, particularly in countries where corruption is rampant and government accountability is lacking. Yet during a September 15th event commemorating the International Day of Democracy, a group of young political activists from three different continents spoke at IPI

September 10, 2014
Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914
On September 10-11, 2014, the International Peace Institute launched its inaugural meeting at its Middle East Regional Office in Manama, Bahrain titled “Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914.”

View More