Armenia must raise ‘landlocked country’ status on United Nations' agenda - expert

13:47 • 20.07.18



Armenia’s new government, in the person of its foreign minister, must call the United Nations’ attention to the “landlocked country” status, a wording typically given to states without sea borders, according to a UN expert.


In an interview with Tert.am, Ara Marjanyan elaborated on the future prospects of the country’s developing partnership with the UN, stressing also the importance of intensifying and expanding ties in areas of mutual interest. He  highly appreciated the cooperation efforts towards covering the "secondary spheres not directly impacting Armenia’s socio-economic potential”.


“It will be very actual for Armenia to revise its collaboration format with the UN, taking advantage of the current favorable situation to address real the sectors,” he noted.


As a vital step towards securing tangible progress, the expert underlined the need of reducing the transit prices through Georgia and other states. “Our neighbors, roughly speaking, simply rob Armenia by imposing high transit tariffs,” Marjanyan added.  

Commenting on Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan’s recent meeting with Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the expert also appreciated the international community’s positive interest in Armenia (which he said increases the country’s advantages).


Marjanyan said he also thinks that the UN needs to thoroughly revise the “landlocked countries’ ” list by giving a more clear-cut definition to the concept. He noted that Azerbaijan, which has an exit to the Black Sea, is also termed similarly. “Though it is admittedly a closed sea, I don’t think that comparing Azerbaijan with Armenia on equal terms would be absolutely correct. I find that the entire acuteness of the problem must be brought to attention,” he added.


Marjanyan also highlighted the urgent need of addressing the transcontinental highways.


“The United Nations has a special directorate responsible for the development of continental, transcontinental and transport highways. And Turkey and Azerbaijan derive virtually more benefits from that structure than does Armenia,” he said, condemning the approach as highly unacceptable.


The expert said he doesn't think that Azerbaijan regularly submits reports detailing its armamament supplies and procurement dynamics to the UN special subdivision fixing the availability of heavy armament supplies in different countries' military arsenal. Meantime he noted that Armenia, as opposed to Azerbaijan, “very carefully and conscientisouly” respects its obligation.  


“I think that this issue too, needs to be raised at the UN,” he added.


Marjanyan said he hopes that the new authorities will be smart enough to use the positive climate in the country to their advantage to be more proactive in the organization.


“Armenia needs to be active while simultaneously defending its positions of a strategic ally. Armenia is a member state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization whose recent voting sessions – as we have noticed – reflect many members’ opposition to the CSTO’s general position. That doesn’t absolutely speak about a positive situation within the CSTO,” he added.

Marajanyan said he sees also real chances for the country to develop cooperation with the UN Security Council member states and elaborate pro-Armenian policies within that structure. He also underlined the “extremely” constructive relations with the US and France (both co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group).

 

The expert appreciated their “very balanced” approach to Armenia, highlighting also Russia’s role as a strategic ally.  “Also, Armenia’s relations with China seem to be improving essentially. Their level cannot be said to be satisfactory now, yet positive elements are really discernible.”


Marjanyan noted that the UN never demonstrated a discriminatory attitude to Armenia, choosing instead t to develop cooperation "on the correct tractg".


“It is another matter that the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc has more active and a considerably higher number of resources to ensure its increased role in different processes surrounding the UN. Hence, in that sense, Armenia must try to neutralize the Turkish-Azerbaijani activity to mobilize the potentials of its country and the Diaspora, as well as the capacities of its strategic ally, to mitigate the impact of the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem,” he added.

 

Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan met with Antonio Guterres at the organization’s Headquarters in New York on July 18. Hailing the recent political developments in Armenia, the UN top official said he was highly impressed with the “velvet revolution” and subsequent reforms and promised the organization’s increased support to “areas of vital concern”.

 

Hripsime Hovhannisyan





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