Skip to main content
Start of content
Start of content

e-4227 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Bella Gharibyan from Montreal, Quebec

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • On September 13, 2022, without provocation, Azerbaijani forces initiated a comprehensive invasion of the Republic of Armenia (RoA). This egregious step is a blatant violation of international law and the rules-based international order. The attacks have caused widespread devastation of Armenian infrastructure and property, unnecessary deaths of 210 Armenians, including civilians, 7600 displaced people and several prisoners of war (PoWs);
  • On October 2, 2022, official reports confirmed that more than 7 POWs were brutally killed by Azerbaijani forces. Once again, Azerbaijan violated international law, specifically as it relates to the provisions laid out in the Third Geneva Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • Azerbaijan currently occupies 130 km2 of the RoA territory;
  • Applying military blackmail and publicly demanding to have an open corridor outside of Armenian control through the sovereign territory of Armenia’s Syunik region, Azerbaijan’s final goal is to seize the region completely, appropriating its territory and resources;
We, the undersigned, Canadians, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Assume the leadership role in defending the victims of human rights violations and implement urgent military and economic sanctions towards Azerbaijan and its officials as restrictive measures for violating the Geneva Conventions, international laws, and committing war crimes;
2. Apply the sanctions to pressure Azerbaijan into removing itself from the internationally recognized borders of the RoA, and reaffirm Canada’s unwavering commitment to Armenia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;
3. Urge Azerbaijan to return all Armenian POWs, detainees, and remains.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Canada supports a comprehensive, negotiated political solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Canada’s position is based on the UN Security Council Resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh, the principles of the non-use of force, territorial integrity, and self-determination, as well as the continuation of dialogue between the parties towards promoting confidence-building measures.

Canada supports the efforts of the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in bringing the parties together. Canada stands ready to support measures to stabilize the situation and negotiations towards a comprehensive peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Government of Canada is closely monitoring developments on the ground, including the ongoing protests and blockages in the Lachin Corridor, which continues to impede travel between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. Canada has urged Azerbaijan to ensure freedom of movement and prevent further negative impacts on the humanitarian situation.

Canada also monitors the situation related to the Armenian Prisoners of War (POWs) and other detainees, and is aware of the difficulties in securing their release. Through bilateral and multilateral channels, Canada continues to call for the immediate release of all detainees as a key step in the confidence-building process. The release of POWs and detainees remains one of Canada’s priorities, and Canada will continue to raise its concerns whenever the opportunity arises.

Canada remains deeply concerned about the allegations of human rights violation facing Armenian POWs and detainees, and calls on the respective governments to fully abide by the simultaneous orders issued by the International Court of Justice for provisional measures against both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Canada continues to call on respective governments to investigate human rights allegations diligently in compliance with international human rights law.

Canada imposes sanctions against foreign states and non-state actors as a key tool for the international community to support peace and security and enforce international norms and laws. Canada’s sanction process is complex and lengthy. Canada considers bilateral consequences that any sanction could have, and primarily adopts sanctions in alignment with likeminded partners.

Open for signature
December 21, 2022, at 3:28 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
January 20, 2023, at 3:28 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie)
April 18, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01300)
Government response tabled
June 1, 2023
Photo - Alexandre Boulerice
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
New Democratic Party Caucus