New mechanism to be created for protection of cultural property in OSCE region by Azerbaijan’s proposal

Baku: The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions has held the next meeting within the 23rd summer session of the Assembly in Baku. APA reports that member of Azerbaijani delegation to the OSCE PA, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security, member of bureau Azay Guliyev presented the draft resolution “On protection of cultural property in the OSCE region”.

Head of Armenian delegation Artashes Geghamyan proposed some amendments to the draft resolution. He said that the United Nations adopted a document on cultural property and it should be better the draft resolution to be based on that document. And Guliyev opposed the amendment for the draft resolution to be shorter. As a result of voting the amendment proposed by Geghamyan was not adopted.

Making speech again Geghamyan didn’t agree that the draft resolution is long. This time he proposed a second amendment for the draft resolution to be based on the First International Covenant (people freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development). With 9 votes in favor of it, 23 against and 11 abstentions, the amendment proposed by Geghamyan was not adopted again. He proposed a third amendment for the next time. The amendment envisaged that destruction of cultural property leads to negative consequences for people. Guliyev approved this proposal unlike the previous two amendments. The amendment was put to the vote and adopted.

Artashes Geghamyan has also proposed an amendment to item 13 of the draft resolution. According to that item, international and non-international armed conflicts, countries must preserve cultural properties in accordance with the principles and contracts of international law as well as UNESCO recommendations during occupation. Artashes Geghamyan proposed that countries should be working to preserve cultural properties within their territories. Raising his objection to this proposal, Azay Guliyev stressed that this amendment is unacceptable about countries that are suffering from conflicts, “Because a country, whose territories have been occupied, cannot protect cultural properties that are situated in its occupied territories”.

By a vote of 14 in favor, 18 against and 9 abstentions, the amendment was disapproved.

Finally, Artasges Geghamyan objected to the item in the draft resolution on creating a new mechanism to protect cultural property in the OSCE region, while Azay Guliyev once again emphasized the importance of creating an additional mechanism to protect cultural property in the OSCE region. He said creating a mechanism of this kind will facilitate the protection of cultural property. However, the proposal was rejected by 11 votes in favor, 31 against and 6 abstentions.

After all, the draft resolution was put to the vote and approved.