September 16, 2019
 In 2023-De-escalation of Sectarian Conflict

Country: Belgium
Delegate Name: Ava Cousineau

Delegate: Ava Cousineau
School: Williamston High School
Country: The Kingdom of Belgium
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: De-escalation of Sectarian Conflict

Throughout history, there has been sectarian conflict due to political, social, and religious issues. In the 1920s, Nagorno-Karabakh was established by the Soviet Union, located at the time in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. After declaring their intention to join the Republic of Armenia in 1988, the tension within the republics remained nonviolent. Since then, strained relationships have increased causing a war to outbreak between the two states. This war greatly impacted the citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh, leading to approximately 30,000 casualties, and an even greater amount of refugees. Russia arranging the Bishkek Protocol allowed for the nation to be independent. Although this issued a ceasefire recognized between Armenia and Azerbaijan, conflict and violence still persisted. This resulted in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, and leads to the current conflict that faces the nations today.

Since the most recent attacks in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Belgian Foreign Minister, Hadja Lahbib, has visited the region to meet with both Armenian and Azerbaijaini representatives in an attempt to assist in de-escalation. While there, Lahbib expressed Belgium’s support for a peaceful end to this conflict with a diplomatic approach, hoping for a solution taking into account the best interest of the people. However, the President of Azerbaijan, President Ilham Aliyev, canceled the meeting as an act of protest. This being due to the Foreign Ministers statements over the conflict, showing the lack of support for a peaceful end to the conflict. Encouraging a peaceful solution, the European Union provides support for the end to the violence with dialogue and compromise, resulting in peaceful coexistence.

In an attempt to assist the disputing nations, and others, further, the Foreign Minister met with the United Arab Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to discuss deescalation of nations in conflict in the region. To help the citizens remain safe with the violence and rising tension, the two nations discussed the necessary operations to provide the people with the resources they require as well as humanitarian and medical aid needed. The diplomats also discussed the importance of assistance and coordination needed from other nations in the region to help restore and maintain the safety and security of the civilians in the areas of conflict.

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