United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has stressed the need to revitalize the OSCE Minsk Group mediation for the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Guterres, in his informal briefing to the UN Member States on his top concerns for 2018, said that conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged, global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War, and climate change is moving faster than counter-measures.
The UN chief stressed the need for pushing back the dangerous tide of nationalism in Europe, and the need for revitalizing the relevant mediation initiatives for protracted conflicts in Europe, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.