abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

27 Sep 2023

Paul Polman

Business leaders urge President of Azerbaijan to uphold human rights in Nagorno-Karabakh

Business leaders call for human rights to be upheld in Nagorno-Karabakh, 27 September 2023

To President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan...

As global business leaders we are deeply concerned at the unstable and deteriorating conditions facing people living in Nagorno-Karabakh, many of whom are ethnic Armenians.

We urge your government to uphold the fundamental human rights of all people in the area, as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights law.

We believe it is in Azerbaijan’s long-term economic interest to urgently de-escalate tensions and demonstrate its commitment to universal human rights in full view of the international private sector and investment community.

Azerbaijan’s widely condemned, months-long blockade of the Lachin corridor has already deprived the local population of food and essential medical supplies, and has restricted free movement of travel, leaving over a hundred thousand people in an increasingly dire situation.

The recent escalation of violence, and your continued refusal to allow international observers and sufficient humanitarian assistance into the area, has further raised fears over the safety of the local population. Many people, including the elderly, vulnerable and children, are now fleeing and abandoning their homes to find safety as this preventable humanitarian crisis continues to unfold.    

Businesses operating in Azerbaijan and around the world have responsibilities under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and are committed to respecting human rights in their operations and business relationships, including their relationships with governments.

We urge the Government of Azerbaijan to meet its obligations as set out in international law, so that all people in Nagorno-Karabakh can live in peace and security, free from discrimination and the threat of inhuman and degrading treatment, and are able to move freely, including leaving and re-entering the area. Their safety, dignity and liberty must be upheld...