The united leadership of the Armenian community of Australia calls on all Australians to stop a humanitarian disaster of a national scale threatening to wipe out a whole indigenous population of a state

An unprecedented, extraordinary meeting of the leadership of all Major Armenian Organizations was held in Sydney on 20 December 2022 in the face of complete silence by the Australian Media and Government in response to the deliberate encirclement and isolation of the total population of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) with the obvious consequence of the starvation to death of its total population.

The meeting was held in under the Auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Haigazoun Najarian, Primate of the Armenian Church of Australia and the New Zealand in response to an appeal by the Permanent Representative of Artsakh in Australia. The meeting appraised the current situation regarding Armenians in Artsakh and unanimously condemned the Leadership of Azerbaijan for encouraging the blockade of the only communication and transport corridor into Artsakh. The Corridor is one, where free movement of citizens to and from Artsakh was agreed upon by a tripartite agreement on November 9, 2020, between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia the latter having a peacekeeping force overseeing the Corridor.

The blockading of what is known as the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor since December 12, with the knowledge and agreement of the authorities in Baku, is a gross violation of the human rights of the 120,000 population of Artsakh. At one stage the supply of electricity and gas were also cut off by the Azeri authorities. These actions have resulted in the total isolation of the population of Nagorno Karabakh; of being deprived of their basic right of freedom of movement and has set the scene for starvation, the spread of disease, and widespread death. To reinforce the inhuman impact of the closure of the corridor the Azeri Government has prohibited the delivery of food, medication, and other humanitarian supplies by air also, to this land locked region, further reinforcing the inhuman impact of the closure.

The meeting expressed its grave concern that the Australian media is completely ignoring the suffering of a whole nation. The meeting could not reconcile this silence with the basic ethos of the Australian People and Government who always call out crimes against humanity and have given great sacrifices to fight such evil anywhere in the world.

Noting the tripartite agreement regarding the free passage to and from Artsakh, the meeting calls upon the Russian Federation to use its military presence in the corridor to force its opening without delay. Inaction by the Kremlin would be tantamount to a dereliction of duty by the guarantors of the safety of the population of Artsakh, who, have no other option but to put their absolute faith in the Russian peacekeepers.

The united leadership of the Armenian Community of Australia calls on the Government of Australia to use its full diplomatic authority and power to compel the lifting of the blockade. It calls on the Australian Government to use international fora to inform the nations of the world of Australia’s concern of this unprecedented evil being perpetrated in the 21st century and enlist their support in putting an end to it.

The united leadership of the Armenian Community of Australia calls on the Human Rights Commission of Australia, and other humanitarian organizations to use their influence in enlisting international support to stop this inhuman act of starving a whole indigenous population of a state and eliminating them either by death or exodus through deprivation. To stop this new method of ethnic cleansing which should not even be thought of in the 21st century.

These actions must be taken forthwith for no other reason but to save the lives of innocent people, children, and elderly. This is not about taking sides in a geopolitical conflict or taking sides in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is about saving innocent lives!

The United leadership of the Armenian Community of Australia makes this plea to its fellow Australians and its own Government, because Armenians who have chosen to be Australian, believe that Australia has been and will continue to be a defender of Human Rights above and beyond all other matters of human interaction or political maneuvering.

Now is the time for Australia to stand up, its government, people, and media – to stop the evil of ethnic cleansing by starvation and deprivation of basic human rights.

Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand
Church of Our Lady of the Assumption Armenian Catholic Church
Armenian Evangelical Uniting Church
Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in Australia
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party of Australia
Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Australia (ARF AU)
Armenian Democratic liberal party of Australia.
Armenian General Benevolent Union AGBU Sydney
Armenian Relief Society of Australia (ARS AU)
Armenian Missionary Association of Australia
Hamazkaine Regional Committee Australia (Hamazkaine AU)
Homenetmen Australia (Homenetmen AU)
AYF Armenian Youth Federation
Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC AU)
AGBU Sydney Youth
AGBU Sydney Sports
Tekeyan cultural Association of Australia
Armenian Rights Council of Australia.
Nor Serount Cultural Association
SDHP Dekhrouni Youth Association

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