December 10th is marked in Artsakh as the Human Rights Day, as well as the day of the Referendum on Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh. It was on this day in 1991 that a referendum on the country's independence was held in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in continuation of the Declaration of September 2, 1991, on the proclamation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic adopted by the Council of People's Deputies of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and Shahumyan region. At the referendum, which was held in full compliance with international law and the existing at the time national legislation of the Soviet Union, the people of Artsakh approved the the establishment of an independent, sovereign state.
The referendum of 10 December 1991, became the logical continuation of the consistent efforts of the people of Artsakh who seeking to return the Karabakh issue to the political and legal domain, prevent the impending war and create conditions for the final settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict exclusively by peaceful means, on the basis of international law, the principles of justice, mutual respect and equal rights of peoples.
The declaration of September 2, 1991, on the proclamation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as well as the independence referendum of December 10, 1991, serve as the legal basis of Artsakh's statehood and the highest manifestation of its people's will.
Failure to recognize the results of the referendum on the independence of Artsakh,in fact, created the conditions for Azerbaijan to consider itself entitled to resolve the conflict by force and to unleash aggression against the Republic of Artsakh three times, in 1991, 2016 and 2020.
In this regard, we consider it necessary to emphasize that respect for the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination, exercised in the referendum of December 10, 1991, is the cornerstone of achieving a peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict and establishing lasting peace in the region.