The member of the Armenian Delegation to PACE Tatevik Hayrapetyan delivered a speech within the framework of the report The Political Leaders’ Role and Responsibility To Combat Hate Speech and Intolerance.
“Dear Madam President, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, let me thank the reporter for the report. I would like to address my speech not only as a representative of Armenian delegation at PACE but also as a young female politician who believes that women should and could speak and act for peace in a very persuasive way. In my mind woman as mothers, sisters and wives symbolize peace.
For none of you is a secret that there is a long lasting conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh. The truth is that this conflict took many lives from Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan. Our Prime Minister’s Nikol Pashinyan’s wife Ms. Anna Hakobyan has recently came up with a very brave and outstanding initiative called “Women for Peace”. The whole meaning of the initiative is very simple: as mothers, sisters and wives we should call for peace from all conflicting sides: Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan. We should fight against any act directed towards hate speech and war rhetoric. Anna Hakobyan also addressed Azerbaijani women to stand for peaceful and non-violent solution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Hereby I want to let you know what was the answer from our neighboring Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, as a response Mehriban Aliyeva, the wife of President Ilham Aliyev, as well as Vice President of Azerbaijan announced that Azerbaijani flag should fly in every village of Nagorno Karabakh. I truly regret to hear war rhetoric also from woman representative of Azerbaijan. I think, we as woman leaders and politicians should be very careful and stand for peace and against violence and hate speech, especially in the context of conflict.
I want to highlight that there is a clear interlink age between the hatred towards ‘the foreigners’ and violence inside the society. I am happy to notice that the absence of the hate speech on the level of officials was one of the reasons we managed to do a nonviolent velvet revolution taking the path towards democracy, because violence was always condemned by the society who has gone through the history of Genocide and extermination back in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire.
Nowadays there are lots of calls about the necessity to prepare nations for peace, because no solution can work if nations are not ready for peace and mutual compromise. And I think in this uneasy process the role of women politicians and leaders in all three parties of the conflict is essential. Hope in Azerbaijan this will become understandable and they will be able to use the language of peace instead of language of war.
Thank you for your attention!” the MP said.