Azerbaijani Deputy PM: “The international documents on refugees should be reconsidered”

Baku: Azerbaijani Deputy PM, Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Refugees and IDPs, Ali Hasanov has today received the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani.

The meeting was attended by Assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons Marie-Eve Friedrich, Head of representation of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Azerbaijan Dag Sigurdson and Head of representation of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Azerbaijan Kamran Bagirov.

Hasanov expressed his confidence that Chaloka Beyani’s visit to the region would produce results.

Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Hasanov noted that Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict has 200-year history.

Hasanov said there is uncertainty regarding the status of refugees and internally displaced persons: “Why is there no an international convention concerning IDPs? Today, the number of IDPs is more than refugees. Some aspects regarding the issue of refugees should be clarified. Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia are called refugees. But all of those, who were expelled from Armenia, are not ethnic Azerbaijanis, there were Russians, poles, even Armenians. Some of them accept Azerbaijani citizenship, so do not. You can not treat them equally.”

Hasanov noted that it is harder for the Azerbaijanis expelled from their lands to live as internally displaced persons: “The UNHCR was only dealing with the refugees not with the IDPs. All of the high commissioners visited Azerbaijan, these problems were brought to their attention. The state would have dealing with the IDPs, if they were displaced as a result of natural disaster. The government is not guilty that these people became IDPs as a result of the occupation. As we raised this issue, UNHCR began to deal with the problems of the IDPs. The word of internally displaced person was not written in any departments of the UNHCR in Geneva. International Refugee Law is outdated, new issues have emerged. Therefore, the documents on refugees should be reconsidered. The issues on IDPs should be reviewed at a fundamental level, new fundamental documents, conventions should be developed. The number of conflicts and IDPs in the world is increasing every year.”


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