Delivered by Nicola Murray, Deputy Head of Delegation, at the OSCE Permanent Council on 12 November 2020
Thank you Mr Chair.
The United Kingdom welcomes the fact that the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to end the fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. It is clear that with the increasing numbers of civilian casualties and displaced persons, as well as the rising number of COVID-19 cases, a ceasefire was urgently needed. These actions will prevent further loss of life and will hopefully move the parties closer towards a fully negotiated settlement.
As the fighting subsides and winter sets in, we urge both parties to prioritise the humanitarian situation with a particular focus on the needs of women and children. Both the UNHCR and the ICRC should be given full access and support to provide much needed aid to civilians. We call on all parties to act responsibly and in good faith in enabling the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The UK would like to reiterate its support for the OSCE Minsk Group as the primary format through which any final settlement is reached. Its Madrid Principles provide a strong basis for a lasting resolution of the conflict, and its structures provide the framework for their implementation. We urge all parties to work closely with the Co-Chairs in support of their efforts.