The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Azerbaijan to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice, which last week compelled Baku to ensure “unimpeded movement” along the Lachin Corridor.
“He [Guterres] recalls that decisions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are binding and trusts that the parties will implement its Orders, including the Order related to measures to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions,” a spokesperson for Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement over the weekend..
“The Secretary-General expresses the hope that Armenia and Azerbaijan will continue working to improve their bilateral relations and strongly encourages a constructive dialogue,” added Dujarric, who also said that Guterres welcomed “the trust that the Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan have placed in the ICJ by asking it to resolve their differences.”
The ICJ, in 13 to 2 decision, compelled Azerbaijan to open the Lachin Corridor, saying Armenia’s request for what is known as provisional measures was warranted. On the same day, the ICJ unanimously rejected Azerbaijan’s claim accusing Armenia of illegally setting landmines in Azerbaijani territory.
“The Lachin Corridor is still being blockaded by Azerbaijan” Yegishe Kirakoryan Armenia’s representative on international legal matters told a press conference on Monday, Armenpress reported.
He explained that while the ICJ ruling does not set timeframes for fulfilling its rulings, it does clearly mention that the decision is binding, which means that a country must take action from the moment the ruling is published, echoing the reminder issued by the UN secretary-general.
“Unfortunately, international law doesn’t envision an institution dealing with enforcement of decisions. The body which has some responsibility for the fulfillment of the ICJ rulings and decisions is the UN Security Council, which will be entitled to intervene when the issue becomes contentious,” Kirakosyan said. “We realize that an intervention by the Security Council is complicated. Although there are many other measures to maximally gain from the legal process.”
The Representative of Armenia on International Legal Matters noted that the Foreign Ministers of various countries, as well as the UN Secretary-General, issued statements citing the ICJ ruling after it was released.
“These are important processes. The pressure must be maximally increased in this direction. By the way, this ruling is highly important in political-legal terms. Now, it turns out that apart from the trilateral statement we also have one more international legal document which stipulates unimpeded movement along the Lachin corridor or Azerbaijan’s obligation to ensure it,” Kirakosyan said.
Armenia’s representative emphasized that every time that Armenia submits an claim for provisional measures within international courts, Azerbaijan files a counter claim agains Armenia in an effort to “create controversy to diminish the impact of Armenia’s requests.”
“But I can say that Azerbaijan is not succeeding. I am saying this based on concrete results. For example, the latest result, when the International Court of Justice rejected Azerbaijan’s request, while granting Armenia’s request. The decisions adopted by [other] international organizations also attest to this,” Kirakosyan said.