A resolution put forward by Azerbaijan called “Missing Persons” was adopted through consensus at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly. The main goal of the resolution, put forward every two years by Azerbaijan is to increase attention to the problem of missing persons in the world as a result of armed conflicts. The resolution expresses deep concern over the increase in the number of armed conflicts in some parts of the world and consequently in the number of those missing and notes that the problem of missing persons causes deep suffering to their families, while continuing to deal a great blow to the attempts to end conflicts.
The countries of the resolution urge to respect and follow the articles of international humanitarian law, to take all necessary measures to prevent missing in situations of armed conflict, to search for missing persons, including to cooperate, in accordance with international obligations, in order to clarify the fate of those missing. The resolution reiterates the right of families of missing persons to get information about the fate of their loved ones. The resolution calls on states to pay special attention to the issue of children missing in armed conflicts.
The coordinator of Information Center for Azerbaijani Captives and Hostages Ahmad Shahidov told to “Baku-Khabar” newspaper that the adoption of the project, initiated by Azerbaijan at the plenary session of the UN, is gratifying: “We can even accept that as a serious achievement of our country. Because this document is useful not only for our country, but for all mankind. The main goal is to find missing people in the armed conflicts around the world and to bring this issue to the attention of the world community. It should be noted that it is the most painful issue in Azerbaijan. You know that this issue stands in the priorities of Azerbaijan. Today, 3875 Azerbaijanis are held hostage on the Armenian side. 3168 of them are military men and 707 are civilians. These persons were taken hostage in 1991-1994. These people are exposed to illegal exploitation and torture and become victims of human trafficking. From time to time, we receive some unspecified information about them. But official Yerevan denied this information and did not allow independent observers to meet with Azerbaijani hostages. That is why the Azerbaijani side has raised the problem on the international platforms. Accepting such a decision on the initiative of Azerbaijan at the United Nations, which is the highest tribune, means that our country does not miss the activity in solving human problems. Recently this issue has been on a special agenda in Azerbaijan. The question is about the initiative to exchange the Azerbaijani captives with the Armenian diversants. You know that Armenia rejects this humanist initiative put forward by Azerbaijan. The United Nations document will bring the world’s attention back to the Azerbaijani captives and hostages.”
According to Ahmad Shahidov, many countries in the world are currently suffering from this problem: “I consider it a success of Azerbaijan. This is a factor that strengthens Azerbaijan’s position on international tribunes. Tomorrow, when we raise problems with our captives and hostages in the OSCE, PACE and other institutions, we will also rely on the UN resolution. As you know, the work on the exchange of the Azerbaijani captives and hostages is intensively continued. Unfortunately, Armenia does not respond positively to the issue. I believe that the document adopted at the United Nations can also be regarded as an example of perseverance from the desire of Azerbaijan to bring about the truth of its own problem.”