PERC Statement on Armenia-Azerbaijan armed conflict
31 / 07 / 2020
Today, when the world has been facing an unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic, when countless numbers of people have lost life and health, workplaces, and sources of income, national resources of all countries should be mobilised to overcome the consequences of the humanitarian catastrophe and to ensure social protection of the population, recovery of crippled economies, and sustainable and fair development based on a renewed social contract as well as solidarity and unity.
Peace is an integral condition for the well-being of workers. The trade union movement is based on the principle of unity. The movement has always systematically opposed narrow political interests that divide people and nations. And in recent history, the trade unions of Europe have reiterated their power to bring together countries and people; to promote universal human values, humanitarian principles and justice; and to set up conditions for resolution of any conflict and any political confrontation.
Provocations and the growth of tensions on the border, escalation of the conflict, and growing agitation of the population create a threatening environment in which episodic clashes could escalate into full-fledged war. In just one moment, years of scrupulous work to promote sustainable development of the countries and the region could be crossed out, thousands of enterprises and workplaces lost, and the well-being of many workers and their families in Armenia and Azerbaijan destroyed.
We call on everyone to show restraint and responsibility and to recognise that the real interest of the citizens, including the workers of both countries, is respect of rights, freedoms and human dignity; decent life and work; guarantees of employment and income; and confidence in the future. We welcome the efforts of the European Union and the OSCE to prevent further escalation and to find a political solution to the long-term conflict within international legal frameworks and in line with UN decisions and resolutions, and we are ready to support these efforts, in close cooperation with the trade union organisations of both countries.