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Procedure : 2006/2527(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0129/2006

Texts tabled :

B6-0129/2006

Debates :

PV 16/02/2006 - 14.1
CRE 16/02/2006 - 14.1

Votes :

PV 16/02/2006 - 15.1

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2006)0069

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 99kWORD 44k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0111/2006
13 February 2006
PE 369.590v00
 
B6‑0129/06
with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Charles Tannock, Bernd Posselt, Ioannis Kasoulides, Jürgen Schröder and Jacques Toubon,
on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
on cultural heritage in Azerbaijan
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on cultural heritage in Azerbaijan 
B6‑0129/06

The European Parliament,

   -having regard to its resolutions of 9 June 2005 and 27 October 2005 on Azerbaijan(1),
   -having regard to its resolution of 18 January 2005 on the European Neighbourhood(2) policy,
   -having regard to its previous resolutions on South Caucasus and especially its resolution adopted on 11 March 1999(3) and its recommendation adopted on 26 February 2004(4),
   -having regard to the decision taken by the Council on the 14 June 2004 to include Azerbaijan in the framework of the European Neighbourhood policy, in particular for the purpose of fostering good-neighbourly relations, especially through respect for minorities,
   -having regard to the obligations of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe, especially through the European Cultural Convention, the revised European Convention for the protection of archeological heritage, and the Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities, that it has ratified and committed to respect,
   -having regard to the UNESCO Convention for World Heritage and the protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention on the protection of cultural assets during armed conflict,
   -having regard to the report of ICOMOS(5) and the intermediary report on freedom of worship and religion made by the UN Committee for Human Rights(6),
   -having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

   whereas former campaigns of destruction of the Armenian necropolis of Djulfa, in the region of Nakhitchevan, were led in November 1998 and December 2002,

   whereas numerous reactions and condemnations were issued following these actions by the international community, and especially by UNESCO; whereas Azerbaijan has been unwilling to provide answers to inquiries from Mr Abdelfattah Amor, the special rapporteur of the United Nations,

   taking note that role of the Azerbaijani authorities has been undeniable, in light of the logistical facilities used and hundreds of soldiers employed to destroy these monuments,

   underlining that Azerbaijan performed these destructions in a conflict-free area; recalling however that these operations took place in a context of hostility toward Armenia and Armenians because of the frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh,

   underlining the exceptional nature of this archeological site, which still had 6000 “khatchkars” remaining – crosses carved in stone typical from the Armenian religious art – and which testifies to the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region,

   taking note that the destruction of these stone cross sculptures not only infringes the principles of the European Union but also represents an aggression against the world heritage of Humanity and offends the religious beliefs of many Europeans too,

   recalling that the ENP aims to establish a privileged partnership with Azerbaijan on the basis of common values, including respect of minorities and their cultural heritage,

   Condemns the most recent destructions planned and performed in December 2005 by Azerbaijan as reasonably evidenced by the recent video-footage by the Armenian authorities, an action that led to the final demolition of the Armenian archaeological site of Djulfa which is under the responsibility of the Government of Azerbaijan;
   Considers that this action worsens the already poor records by the Azerbaijani government, as mentioned in Parliament's previous resolutions on the Azerbaijani government's discriminatory policy toward minorities and on its restrictions on the exercise of individual liberties;
   Demands that Azerbaijan respect its international commitments - notably in the cultural realm - and especially those deriving from its accession to the Council of Europe and its integration into the ENP;
   Demands that Azerbaijan allows missions dedicated to survey and to protect the archeological heritage on its territory, especially Armenian heritage such as by experts working with ICOMOS;
   Demands also that Azerbaijan allows a European parliament delegation to visit the archaeological site of Djulfa;
   Asks the presidency of the Union to investigate the circumstances and decisions which led to these destructions in order provide a detailed proposal on the prevention of destruction of other endangered sites;
   Invites the Commission and the Council to condition the implementation of the ENP action plan on Azerbaijan's respect for universally accepted principles, in particular its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe, regarding human and minority rights, and calls on the Commission and on the Council to integrate into this action plan specific provisions on the protection of the cultural heritage of minorities;
   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, to the Commission, to the parliaments and governments of the Member States, to the government and to the president of Armenia, to the government and to the president of Azerbaijan, as well as to the parliamentary assemblies of OSCE, of the Council of Europe, to the Director-General of UNESCO and to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

(1)    Texts adopted P6_TA(2005)0243 and P6_TA(2005)0411
(2)    Texts adopted P6_TA(2006)0028
(3)    OJ C 175 E 21.6.1999, p. 251
(4)    OJ C 98 E du 23.4.2004, p. 193
(5)    ICOMOS World Report on Monuments and Sites in danger 2002 – “Heritage@Risk”
(6)    58th session of the U.N. General Assembly – Document 1/58/296, 19.08.2003

Last updated: 14 February 2006Legal notice