Conference: Artsakh 25th Anniversary of Independence

Thursday, 01 September 2016 On Saturday the 3rd of September the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in Australia will be hosting a conference marking the 25th anniversary of independence at the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Sydney (124 Kent Street).

The conference outline is as follows:

The international recognition of the right to self-determination represents the only means by which dispossessed and subordinated populations can be guaranteed security in the face of existential threat. When peaceful coexistence is no longer a viable option, the norm of self-determination needs to take precedence over territorial integrity.

The treatment of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) as a pawn in the regional power struggle between Armenia and Azerbaijan - and by extension Russia and Turkey - has since 1994 systematically denied agency to Artsakh as a legitimate political actor in its own right. The failure of this two decade process became evident in April 2016 with the resumption of hostilities by Azerbaijan on Artsakh’s borders.

For Artsakh, the ineffectiveness of institutions of conflict resolution - such as the OSCE Minsk Group and other international organisations - has permitted Azerbaijan to maintain hostilities and act with impunity in the region. Only by ensuring the sovereign rights of Nagorno-Karabakh can Azerbaijan be deterred - and only through the recognition of Artsakh’s independence can the security of its population be ensured.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Mr. Sebastian Klich, a research scholar at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (CAIS) and PhD candidate at the Australian National University (ANU). For his thesis on the integration of de-facto states in international society, Mr. Klich recently undertook extensive fieldwork in Artsakh, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Somaliland.

The conference will also feature a panel discussion on the cultural, economic and political imperatives of self determination. Joining the panel will be; Dr. Tro Kortian, former president of ANC Australia and professor of international economics and finance at the University of Sydney. Dr. Panayiotis Diamadis, director of genocide studies at the University of Technology Sydney and Vice-President of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. And Mr. Kieran Pender, Honours student at the Australian National University recently returned from Abkhazia where he conducted fieldwork for his dissertation on legitimacy building of unrecognised states. The panel will be moderated by Mr. Noric Dilanchian.

The conference will be video recorded, and papers/transcripts of the proceedings will be published on this website in the coming days.

Conference Flyer