The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is shocked and appalled by the recent statements made by McDonald’s that support Azerbaijan’s genocidal aggression against Artsakh (oftentimes called Nagorno-Karabakh) on Instagram and Facebook. The promotion of military action in Artsakh, which has resulted in a humanitarian crisis that has claimed thousands of lives of civilians, including women and children, certainly goes against the values of integrity and community championed by their organization.
Azerbaijani forces have been documented conducting war crimes, including the shelling of civilian areas and massacring of prisoners. Leading international human rights watchdogs including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have corroborated accounts of Azerbaijan using illegal cluster munitions against civilian populations.
McDonald’s in 2018 adopted a human rights policy in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Under the UN guideline, companies have a responsibility to ensure they do not contribute to the violation of fundamental human rights. By indicating its support for Azerbaijan’s genocidal campaign against Artsakh, McDonald’s has breached this responsibility. It is a surprise that McDonald’s would choose to associate their brand with such human rights atrocities.
Furthermore, as one of the world’s most recognizable American brands, it is unacceptable that McDonald’s would openly promote the dictatorial Azerbaijani government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing – undermining the fundamental values of human rights and democracy the United States has sought to enshrine throughout the world.
In response to these actions, we are calling upon the Armenian diaspora to #BoycottHate until action is taken by McDonald’s on this matter.