The Armenian Delegation to the OSCE PA Proposed to Monitor the Armenian and Azerbaijani Textbooks and Media (EXCLUSIVE)
The works of the OSCE PA autumn meeting ended in Andorra. To sum up the results of the third day of the meeting, "Armedia" IAA talked with the head of the Armenian delegation to the OSCE PA, the RA National Assembly Deputy Hermine Naghdalyan.
- Mrs. Naghdalyan, today was the last day of the OSCE autumn meeting. What issues were discussed today and what questions the Armenian delegates raised?
- Today we summarized the works of the OSCE PA autumn meeting. Like the first two days of the meeting, our delegation today was also well-prepared and our delegates came up with in-depth speeches. Topics of today's discussion were human measurement, education and culture. Ararat Mirzoyan and Karen Bekaryan from our delegation delivered speeches. Attaching importance to the topic, our delegates touched upon the following key issues: education, education and equality, the role of education in the conflict resolution process, the role of education in the upbringing of citizens.
In their speeches our delegates also voiced about the fact that in the Azerbaijani textbooks the Armenians are introduced in an image of enemy, that the education system in Azerbaijan propagates Armenophobia. It should be mentioned that these concerns were based on facts, which were collected from the Azerbaijani school textbooks, a number of websites, and the documents of various international organizations (PACE, the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)).
Mr. Mirzoyan stressed that from very early age Azebaijani children are being injected with Armenophobia, that the education system presents Armenians as enemies. Mr. Bekaryan in his turn touched upon the hate speech of Azerbaijani high-ranking officials, to the incitement of the feeling of enmity towards Armenians. He stressed that in contrast to the Azerbaijani President, the RA President Serzh Sargsyan has never presented the Azerbaijani nation as an enemy.
We also brought with us to Andorra a book entitled "Armenophobia in Azerbaijan" (prepared by Information and Public Relations Center), where numerous facts are presented about Armenophobia in Azerbaijan. This handbook was first of all presented to the Azerbaijani delegation as a proof of what we said during our speeches.
I should mentioned that the speeches of the Armenian delegates surprised the Azerbaijani delegation a lot. There was an impression that they did not expect such speeches, as the Armenian side almost always came up from defensive and not offensive positions. Nevertheless, we mentioned that we did not use this platform to say something against Azerbaijan, but we really raise our concerns, present facts, in which direction the delegations of the two countries, the societies, and our OSCE partners should work.
The discussion was quite noisy. The Azerbaijani delegates tried to counter the Armenian side, to accuse us. In the words of the Armenian and Azerbaijani delegates, in terms of bringing facts, the difference was so great, and the facts presented in that book were so convincing that their answers simply made an impression of a hysteric response. They even quarreled with the presidency, saying they want additional time to speak. Finally, during the final session the heads of the delegations of the two countries were given an opportunity to sum up what they wanted to say and the head of the Azerbaijani delegation talked in a manner peculiar to them, while we presented a number of constructive proposals.
We mentioned that it is necessary to speak with facts and that we do not voice accusations but present facts. We emphasized that we are ready and we suggest that the OSCE, together with our two delegations, carry out discussions in different formats, implement monitoring of educational processes, the media and the textbooks. In other words, this platform is not a place for unfounded accusations, but a platform to solve concrete problems.
- How would you assess the work of the Armenian delegation during this autumn meeting?
- I should state that the members of our delegation were quite active during this whole meeting. We not only participated in the discussions, but also in informal meetings we tried to establish new contacts with delegates from different countries, strengthen our existing cooperation and to present the Armenian positions on this or that issue to our colleagues.
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