“Distinguished Madame President,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to start my statement by thanking our host, the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia for the excellent organization of the Assembly and warm reception.
The title of the current general debate speaks for itself: “Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional cooperation”.
If we go back to the history, we will see that international law as a set of legal provisions regulating relations between Nations always existed, as from very beginning of human civilization all the statesunderstood the need of “rules of game” between nations, which would regulate terms of their co-existence, allow them to feel secure and guarantee their development. Unfortunately, during the whole history of mankind we have also become witnesses of many cases of violation of those rules by one state and indifference and reluctance of the others to prevent, to condemn, to address them, and as a result hindering the development of not only of a specific region, but in some cases even the world and humanity.
After the WWII the international community started to reshape and readopt the common rules for our mutual and beneficial coexistence, based on the keystone universal principle of peaceful settlement of all the disputes among the states and, hence, prohibition of use of force. During these decades, both the heads of states and governments and leaders of parliaments have expressed on numerous occasions their commitment to the aims and principles, enshrined in the UN Charter. And today despite the criticism International Law is the only tool, the only set of voluntarily adopted rules, which allow states to maintain peace and international security.
Once again invoking the title of the general debate “strengthening international law,” I have to comment that at the moment we have urgency to talk about safeguarding public international law in general and international human rights in particular.
Right now, when we are sitting in this plenary hall, one of our member-states - Turkey is launching military operation in Kurdish-populated areas of Syria. During the couple of days dozens of people are being killed; tens of thousands are being displaced. Today people in Qamishli and other Syrian cities are under the threat, the same way as it happened in Armenian-populated Syrian town of Kessab in 2014.
Ironically, current outrages are committed at the same place, at the same geographical area, where soil and sand still hold the remnants of the victims of the Armenian Genocide committed 100 years ago. And I, as a representative of nation, which has witnessed and survived one the biggest tragedies of 20th century, call all parliamentarians to raise their voice of alarm on the situation around Syria.
Respecting, following and safeguarding of international law in the 21st century is not about economies, it’s not about geopolitics, it’s about saving lives of human beings, respecting their rights and freedoms, it’s about saving morality of international community and the Spirit of the United Nations.
I call all the members of the assembly for action. I call IPU as an organization and each parliament represented here not to stay indifferent and clearly state the inadmissibility of Erdogan’s actions and urgent demand to stop them.”