President oftheParliamentary Assembly of theCouncil of Europe,
and Members of the Bureau
Copy to Mr. Wojciech Sawicki,
Secretary-Generalof the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe
Copy to Mr. Thorbjorn Jagland,
Secretary-General of the Council of Europe
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
A motion for resolutionon my initiative,demanding the application of sanctions against Armenian delegation for its continuous armed occupation of Azerbaijani territories, was publishedon PACE website on June 18. This motion was co-signed by 58 Members of Parliament representing 14 PACE member states.
Previously I already expressed my sincere hope thatboth PACE leadershipand PACE Secretariat woulddemonstrate objective position towards Azerbaijan in general, and towards the submitted motion for resolution in particular.
Today however I learn from Presidential Committee meeting that the PACE Secretary-General Mr Sawickiraised a last minute procedural objection against the motion. According his interpretation of Rule 9, a motion, which mentions sanctions,should refer in that motion to the issue of credentials.
In general, when any procedural objection occurs, the related article is immediately quoted literally by Secretariat during the meeting. But some article (or part of article) prohibiting the call for sanctions through a motion for resolution could not be quoted, simply because no Rule is prohibiting.Rules nowhere specify that in order to discuss and/or impose sanctions, it isnecessary to challenge credentials first.
We deliberately did not want to challenge credentials of the current Armenian delegation. In fact, we consider that the Assembly should have a large debate on this question of the occupied Azerbaijani territories, including arguments voiced by Armenians, based on a properly prepared report by the competent Committee, and not a hasty procedural report on the challenge of credentials.
It is, first of all, a matter of substance. Furthermore, it is a general principle that the Assembly is sovereign in taking decisons, so,it should also be in a position to adopt sanctions on the basis of a report on substance. In fact, the contrary would go against all principles of parliamentary democracy and also against the common sense.
The motion for resolutionwas issued and printed, appears as an official document on PACE’s website, thus clearly proving it is “in order”.This motion is the official document of the Assembly.
Rule 24.3 : “A motion which is in order shall be printed and distributed as soon as possible.”
In general, if ever not receivable, a motion is always sent back to the author, along with related comments and suggestions to correct it. This is the common and good practice by Table Office, under the authority of Secretariat. But in this case it was not sent back to the author, on the contrary, it was issued and printed without any comment.Mr. Sixto from the Secretariat confirmed good receipt of the signatures of 58 MPs representing 14 countries sent by me 17 days prior to the session (Please find attached letters of Secretariat).
Moreover, during the Presidential Committee meeting, Mr Sawicki in a first time proposed to refer the motion to the Monitoring Committee, to be included in the preparation of the current monitoring report on Armenia. Thus, there was a formal reference proposal by Secretariat. But as soon as it appeared that the members of Presidential Committee did not support such reference, but advocated a different kind of reference, very suddenly there was someprocedural obstacle by Mr. Sawicki: basing on his own approach and not on official rules, he insisted that the redaction of the motion is not receivable (anymore!). Why is redaction in order for one reference proposal, and is redaction not in order for another reference proposal?
Secretariat eventually agreed to have the motion being referred for report to Political Affairs Committee, on condition that I should rewrite this motion and collect signatures again. How to explain that administration is dictating an MP which words to use or not to use in a motion? Which Rule is restricting that?Which rule mentions about the prohibition of the word “sanction” in the motion?In case Secretariat cannot precisely quote a Rule prohibiting my redaction, and if I am obligedto write words, which Secretariat is dictating me, I ratherpersonally suggest to my delegation to leave the Council of Europe immediately.
Regardless this attempt to confuse the members of the Presidential Committee in the last minute, it is very clear that the motion should just follow normal political procedurein PACE:my motion should be on the agenda of next Bureau meetingon Friday June 27, and final decision will be taken eventually duringthat Bureau meeting.
Rule 25.1: “The Bureau shall reach a decision on all documents mentioned in Rule 23.2.c (= “Motions tabled by representatives or substitutes”)”
As the author of the motion,I wish to insist strongly to all Bureau members not to be confused or misled, but to vote in favour of the motion being referred forreport, as it was agreed by consensus on June 22, but evidently refusing all obstacles, which cannot be justified.
To my deep regret I have to conclude that when it comes to legitimate demands by Azerbaijan, again and again, very last minute administrative obstacles arise.
Furthermore, I call on all colleagues to prevent injustice towards putting aside this motion for resolution,and to prevent any preference of corporate interests of certain forces to the basic principles of the Council of Europe.
With my highest consideration,
Member of Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE