What was PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) Resolution 1416, adopted in January 2005?

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 1416 at its second session on January 25, 2005. When adopting the Resolution, PACE expressed regret at the miserable conditions the hundreds of thousands of displaced people were living in and the unresolved situation over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which had lasted for over two decades. It also expressed its grave concern at the military action, which had led to widespread ethnic hostilities between the parties and caused large-scale ethnic displacement. By adopting the Resolution, PACE also reaffirmed that independence and secession of a territory from the main state might be achieved only by lawful and peaceful means and without the help of military force, which leads to ethnic displacement and de facto annexation of that territory to another state.

The Resolution also drew the attention of member states to the fact that “the occupation of foreign territory by a member state constitutes a grave violation of that state’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and reaffirms the right of displaced persons from the area of conflict to return to their homes safely and with dignity.” An underlying possibility was that if the negotiation process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group failed, the parties to the conflict should consider turning to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as signatories of the UN Charter. The Resolution also reaffirmed UN Security Council Resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993), and 884 (1993), urged the parties concerned to comply with them, and called on the parties to refrain from further military action. Special emphasis should be placed on the statement made by PACE that “considerable parts of the territory of Azerbaijan are still occupied by Armenian forces and separatist forces are still in control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region.”[1] This statement meant that the Parliamentary Assembly recognized Armenia as a party to the conflict, which involved military action in the territory of Azerbaijan.

[1] Council of Europe – Parliamentary Assembly, “Resolution 1416” by PACE, January 25, 2005.