What was the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/243?

The United Nations General Assembly, at its 62nd session, adopted Resolution 62/243, entitled “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” on March 14, 2008.[1] The Resolution was adopted with 39 votes in favor, 7 against, and 100 abstentions.[2] While referring back to UN Security Council Resolutions 822 of April 30, 1993, 853 of July 29, 1993, 874 of October 14, 1993, and 884 of November 12, 1993, which were passed shortly after the occupation of Kalbajar, Aghdam, Zangilan and the city of Goradiz in Azerbaijan by Armenian military forces, it reaffirmed its continued strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders and expressed its serious concerns about the armed conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was continuing to endanger international peace and security.

The General Assembly also reaffirmed the inalienable right of the population expelled from the occupied territories to return to their homes. It further stated that no state should recognize the current situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as lawful that resulted from the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories and provide aid or assistance in maintaining this situation.[3]

It should be noted that Resolution 62/243 was the fifth United Nations document relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. While reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic, the previous 4 resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council pointed to the withdrawal of “Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian” military forces from the occupied regions of Azerbaijan. However, they did not mention the Armenian Republic’s military forces.[4]

However, Resolution 62/243 demanded “the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.” It recognized “the necessity of providing normal, secure and equal conditions of life for Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which will allow an effective democratic system of self-governance to be built up in this region within the Republic of Azerbaijan.” Here, special emphasis should be placed on the terms “Armenian forces” and “the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan” since these show that the UN General Assembly accepts that Armenia is an aggressor state which occupied territories belonging to Azerbaijan and recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In the end, Resolution 62/243 expressed its support for international mediation efforts for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, particularly those of the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, which aimed to solve the problems following the norms and principles of international law.[5]

[1] United Nations General Assembly, “Resolution 62/243,” March 14, 2008.

[2] “General Assembly calls for removal of Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh,” UN News Centre, 14 March 2008; https://news.un.org/en/story/2008/03/252622-general-assembly-calls-removal-armenian-forces-nagorno-karabakh. Accessed on December 3, 2022.

[3] “Resolution 62/243”.

[4] UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874, & 884.

[5] “Resolution 62/243”.