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Nagorno Karabakh until 1918
Nagorno Karabakh in 1918-20
Establishment of Soviet Rule
Azerbaijans Discrimination
Struggle for Freedom 1923-88
Developments of 1988-90
Sumgait Massacre of 1988
Ethnic Cleansing Campaigns
Declaration of Independence
Armed Conflict 1991-94
Islamic Mercenaries in NK War
1990 USSR Law on Secession
OSCE Minsk Conference
The Cease-Fire Agreement
Prospects for Peace
Current Developments
Why is there a conflict?
Parties to the Conflict
Independence or Reunification?
Nation Building
Controlled Territories

OSCE Minsk Conference


Minsk Process

1. Basic Documents
The Helsinki Additional Meeting of the CSCE Council on 24 March 1992 requested the CiO to convene as soon as possible a conference on Nagorno-Karabakh under the auspices of the CSCE to provide an ongoing forum for negotiations towards a peaceful settlement of the crisis on the basis of the principles, commitments and provisions of the CSCE. The Conference is to take place in Minsk. Although it has not to this date been possible to hold the conference, the so-called Minsk Group spearheads the OSCE effort to find a political solution to this conflict.

On 6 of December 1994 the Budapest Summit decided to establish a co-chairmanship for the process. Furthermore the Heads of State or Government expressed their political will to deploy multinational peacekeeping forces as an essential part of the overall settlement of the conflict.

Implementing the Budapest decision, the Chairman-in-Office issued on 23 March 1995 the mandate for the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Process (DOC. 525/95).

2. Tasks
On the basis of the above-mentioned documents the main objectives of the Minsk Process could be summarized as follows:

Providing an appropriate frame-work for conflict resolution in the way of assuring the negotiation process supported by the Minsk Group;

Obtaining conclusion by the Parties of an agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict in order to permit the convening of the Minsk Conference;

Promoting the peace process by deploying OSCE multinational peacekeeping forces.

3. Deployment
The Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Group (see composition) visit the region to talk with the Parties to the Conflict. They also hold meetings with the Chairman-in-Office and the members of the Minsk Group to brief them on the process.

4. Duration
The Minsk Process can be considered to be successfully concluded if the objectives referred to above are fully met.

5. Composition
The Minsk Process is supported by the Minsk Group that is headed by the Co-Chairmanship consisting of France, the Russian Federation and the United States. Furthermore, the Minsk Group also includes the following participating States: Belarus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Turkey as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Co-chairmen of the Minsk Group are: Ambassador Henri Jacolin of France, Ambassador Nikolai Gribkov of the Russian Federation and Ambassador Rudolf Perina of the United States.

The Minsk Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh would be attended by the same participating States that are members of the Minsk Group. The Conference will be headed by the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Conference.

6. Financial Implications
The OSCE Unified Budget for 2003, adopted at the 429th Plenary Meeting of the Permanent Council on 30 December 2002, PC.DEC/527 established the budget of the Minsk Process at EUR 999,300.

The Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office
on the Conflict Dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference

1. Basic Decisions
The Chairman-in-Office appointed as of 10 August 1995 a Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on the Conflict Dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference. The present Personal Representative (PR), Ambassador. Andrzej Kasprzyk of Poland was appointed by the Chairman-in-Office on 1 January 1997.

2. Tasks
The Personal Representative's mandate from the Chairman-in-Office is to:

represent the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, assist the CiO in achieving an agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict and in creating conditions for the deployment of an OSCE peace-keeping operation, in order to facilitate a lasting comprehensive political settlement of the conflict in all its aspects;

report on all aspects of his activities to the CiO of the OSCE, report through the CiO to the Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Conference and, as appropriate, to the Minsk Group, and receive instructions from the CiO;

assist the Co-Chairmanship at its request;

assist the High Level Planning Group in planning an OSCE peace-keeping operation in accordance with the Budapest Summit Decisions;

assist the parties in implementing and developing confidence-building, humanitarian and other measures facilitating the peace process, in particular by encouraging direct contacts;

co-operate, as appropriate, with representatives of the United Nations and other international organizations operating in the area of conflict.

3. Deployment
According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Government of Georgia, the PR established a separate office in Tbilisi as a basis and headquarters. In order to be able to conduct the operational activities defined in the mandate, the Field Assistants of the PR are present in Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert/Khankendi.

4. Duration
No limitations as to the duration of the Personal Representative's mandate have been set.

5. Composition
The Personal Representative is assisted by 5 Field Assistants appointed by the CiO. In fulfilling their mandates, the Personal Representative and his Field Assistants should be given all necessary assistance to ensure that they have free access and movement in all areas relevant to carrying out their functions.

6. Financial Implications
The OSCE Unified Budget for 2003, adopted at the 429th Plenary Meeting of the Permanent Council on 30 December 2002, PC.DEC/527 established the budget for the Personal Representative and Field Assistants at EUR 1,000,800.

High Level Planning Group

1. Basic Decisions
The High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) was established in accordance with the Decisions of the Budapest Summit of Heads of State or Government of the participating States of the CSCE 1994, with the aim of intensifying action in relation to the conflict dealt with by the Minsk Conference ("Nagorno-Karabakh conflict"). It superseded an earlier Initial Operation Planning Group (IOPG), which was established in May 1993.

2. Tasks
In accordance with its mandate, adopted by the Chairman-in-Office on 23 March 1995, the HLPG is tasked:

to make recommendations for the Chairman-in-Office on developing as soon as possible a plan for the establishment, force structure requirements and operation of a multinational OSCE peacekeeping force;

to make recommendations on, inter alia, the size and characteristics of the force, command and control, logistics, allocation of units and resources, rules of engagement and arrangements with contributing States.

These tasks have been supplemented by Directives of the successive CiO.

3. Deployment
The HLPG is located in Vienna.

4. Duration
No limitations as to the duration of the HLPG's mandate have been set.

5. Composition
The HLPG is currently composed of eight military staff, seconded by OSCE participating States, and one non-military staff, employed by the OSCE Secretariat. Colonel Cornelis H. Blok, seconded by the Netherlands, is the present Head of the HLPG.

6. Financial Implications
The OSCE Unified Budget for 2003, adopted at the 429th Plenary Meeting of the Permanent Council on 30 December 2002, PC.DEC/527 established the budget for the High-Level Planning Group at EUR 211,900.

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