(armradio.am) Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie for the European Region adopted a statement today, condemning the Armenian Genocide and calling on Turkey to face its history.
Stressing the inadmissibility of the lack of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and reminding that such crimes have no statute of limitations, the Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly condemn the fact of the genocide committed against the Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire.
They commemorate the innocent victims of the 10915 Genocide and express solidarity with the Armenian people in their struggle for the international recognition of the Genocide and restoration of the rights of persons subjected to genocide.
They invite Turkey to face its own past and finally acknowledge the fact of the Armenian Genocide and hope that this recognition will mark the start of reconciliation between the Armenian and Turkish peoples.
Statement of the Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie for the European Region
1. We, representatives of parliaments of states using the French as a common language, gathering at the Conference of Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) for the European Region on 31 March 2015;
2. Establishing our obligations for the sake of peace, democracy, human rights, the security in the territory of Francophonie and its world values;
3. Encouraging the international organisation of La Francophonie and the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie for being consistent with the implementation of actions aiming at preventing the crises and conflicts according to the UN Charter on Principles and Norms of International Law;
4. Underlining the inadmissibility of the Genocide, as actions qualified crime, not being internationally recognized until now and reminding that such crime has no expiry date;
5. We condemn the fact of the Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire towards the Armenian people,
6. We commemorate the memory of the innocent victims of 1915 Armenian Genocide and we are consolidated with Armenia and the Armenian people in the struggle for the international recognition of the Genocide and the restoration of the rights of people subjected to Genocide;
7. We invite Turkey to face its own history and at last recognize the fact of the Armenian Genocide and we express hope that that recognition will be a starting point of reconciliation between the Armenian and Turkish peoples.
Bohjalian, Walrath Lead State Capitol Commemoration Calling for Genocide Justice
(anca.org) MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont legislature strengthened the standing of the Green Mountain State as a leader in the genocide prevention movement by unanimously adopting a concurrent resolution (H.C.R. 86) commemorating the Armenian Genocide Centennial and hosting a day-long series of events honoring the victims of this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).
The legislation was spearheaded on the House side by Representative Joan G. Lenes, who is a descendant of an Assyrian Genocide survivor, and Representative Adam Greshin. Lead Senate supporters of the resolution included Senators Dick Sears, Philip Baruth and Diane Snelling with 14 of 30 Senators cosponsoring the measure.
“It was a wonderful day of people sharing a common past – not forgetting that, yet still learning and looking forward so that we are a better people,” noted Rep. Lenes following passage of the resolution.
Prior to its reading in the General Assembly, Vermont’s own Lokum Band – Jeff Davis, Peter Bingham, and Charlie Jones – played several Armenian musical pieces as part of the devotional exercises, garnering a standing ovation from legislators. Later, Rep. Lenes introduced the Armenian community members in attendance and invited one and all to a noon presentation about the Armenian Genocide by authors Chris Bohjalian and Dana Walrath.
“I was so proud to be a Vermonter today — and I was so proud of the Vermont legislature,” said Bohjalian, whose internationally acclaimed novel on the Armenian Genocide – “The Sandcastle Girls” – was a New York Times best seller. “By recognizing the Armenian Genocide, legislators gave voice to those voices that were forever stilled in Der-el-Zor and Ras-el-Ain and the Dudan Crevasse. Today Vermont helped spread the truth of what occurred a century ago on the Anatolian plains and the Syrian desert, and helped quiet the voice of denial.”
“Today Vermont legislators chose social justice over political exigency,” said Walrath, who recently published “Like Water on Stone,” a verse novel about the genocide that is based on her grandmother’s history. “Shame, pride, and oil are not good enough reasons to deny the Armenian genocide. Their detailed resolution honors those who suffered and those who have worked tirelessly to erase genocide from this earth. This resolution can serve as a model for other states. I am proud to be a citizen of Vermont, a small state with a big heart.”
Following the presentation, ANC Vermont activist Nareg Aghjayan joined with local community leaders in hosting a reception with Armenian delicacies for the over 100 legislators and supporters in attendance at the commemoration.
“The few yet mighty members of the Armenian American community in the Green Mountain State, collectively thank the Vermont General Assembly in unanimously passing Resolution H.C.R. 86 commemorating the Armenian Genocide Centennial,” said Aghjayan. “On behalf of ANC-Vermont and its entire grassroots family, we warmly welcome the continued support of Vermonters on this crucial human rights issue.”
ANCA Eastern Region Chairman Steve Mesrobian concurred. “We applaud the leadership of Representatives Lenes and Greshin and Senators Sears Baruth and Snelling in ensuring the unanimous passage of this historic resolution by the Vermont Legislature. We would particularly like to thank Chris Bohjalian and Dana Walrath for educating generations about the Armenian Genocide through their presentations today and their literary works read across the U.S. and the world. The people of Vermont have spoken on this important topic through their Legislative body and we call on the United States government to follow suit in recognizing the Armenian Genocide, particularly at this important juncture of our nation’s history,” explained Mesrobian.
The State of Vermont first recognized the Armenian Genocide when Governor James Douglas proclaimed April 24, 2004, as “Armenian Martyrs Day” in Vermont. Forty-three U.S. states have recognized the Armenian Genocide, with additional states considering legislation in the upcoming months.
The full text of H.C.R. 86 follows.
Complete Text of Vermont Armenian Genocide Centennial Resolution
Concurrent House Resolution
House concurrent resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide
Offered by: Representatives Lenes of Shelburne and Greshin of Warren
Whereas, from 1915 to 1923, the government of the Ottoman Empire persecuted and executed systematically an estimated 1.5 million Armenians, and
Whereas, this brutal mistreatment became known as the Armenian Genocide and, by 1923, it had resulted in the elimination of the Armenian population in Asia Minor and historic West Armenia, and
Whereas, the Armenian Genocide began on the night of April 24, 1915, when the Turkish government arrested more than 200 Armenian community leaders in Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire’s capital city, and
Whereas, most of the prominent public figures of the Armenian community were summarily executed, and
Whereas, large numbers of Armenian civilians were forcibly deported to the Syrian desert, and many died either en route, at the hands of government-aligned gangs, or from dehydration and starvation in the desert, and
Whereas, in May 1915, the Allied Powers of France, Great Britain, and Russia issued a joint statement charging the government in Constantinople with committing crimes ‘‘against humanity and civilization,” the first time a government-to-government charge of this type was issued, and
Whereas, it is estimated that, by 1918, the Ottoman Empire’s brutal treatment of Armenians had resulted in the deaths of one million persons and made hundreds of thousands of others homeless and stateless refugees, and
Whereas, Raphael Lemkin, the initial drafter of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the originator of the term “genocide,” recognized the Armenian Genocide as the type of crime the United Nations should prevent through the establishment of international standards, and
Whereas, historians cite the Armenian Genocide as a forerunner of later human massacres, including the Holocaust, the Cambodian Killing Fields, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur, and
Whereas, on April 24, 2004, Governor James Douglas issued a proclamation recognizing the Armenian Genocide on the 89th anniversary of its initiation, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide, and
be it further
Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Armenian National Committee of Vermont.
Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group Publishes Final Report
(asbarez.com) YEREVAN –The Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group on Monday issued its final report, entitled “Resolution with Justice—Reparations for the Armenian Genocide,” offering an unprecedented comprehensive analysis of the legal, historical, political, and ethical dimensions of the question of reparations for the Armenian Genocide.
In September 2014, the group completed the report, and released the introduction. With the announcement on Monday, the AGRSG is making the entire report available for download, free of charge.
Prior to formation of the AGRSG in 2007, the limited discourse on reparations for the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide included abstract notions of territorial return, consideration of particular aspects such as insurance lawsuits, academic and other works focused on a specific part of the overall topic, and sometimes valuable short works treating the issue but without comprehensive or detailed analysis.
The AGRSG was formed in 2007 by four experts in different areas of reparations theory and practice. The grooup’s mission was to produce the first systematic, comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the reparations issues raised by the Armenian Genocide. Funded initially by a grant from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the AGRSG members are Alfred de Zayas, Jermaine O. McCalpin, Ara Papian, and Henry C. Theriault (Chair). George Aghjayan has served as a special consultant.
After early agreement that some form of repair is an appropriate remedy for the legacy of the Armenian Genocide as it stands today, the AGRSG prepared a preliminary report, which was released for limited distribution in 2009. Completion of the draft was followed by three symposia. The first was a panel discussion featuring three of the report authors, held on May 15, 2010 at George Mason University in the United States, in conjunction with the university’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. The second was a major day-long symposium featuring the four co-authors and a number of other experts on reparations for the Armenian Genocide, conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law through its International Human Rights Law Association, on October 23, 2010. The third was a panel by two of the report authors held in Yerevan, Armenia, on December 11, 2010. The AGRSG is now issuing for broad distribution its final report, an extensive revision and updating of the 2009 preliminary report.
The report examines the case for reparations from legal, historical, and ethical perspectives (Parts 4, 5, and 6, respectively), offers a plan for a productive reparative process drawing on transitional justice theory and practice (Part 7), and proposes a concrete reparations package (Parts 3 and 8). The report also includes background on the Armenian Genocide (Part 1) and the damages inflicted by it and their impacts today (Part 2). Through its broad dissemination, this report fills a crucial gap in the scholarly work and policy discourse on the Armenian Genocide. It will give Turkish and Armenian individuals as well as civil society and political institutions the information, analysis, and tools to engage the Armenian Genocide issue in a systematic manner that supports meaningful resolution.
With the Genocide Centennial fast approaching, heightened international political, academic, media, artistic, and public interest in the Genocide has already been witnessed in 2015.
In addition, in the past few years, reparations for the Genocide have gone from a marginal concern to a central focus in popular and academic circles. Much of that focus has been on piecemeal individual reparation legal cases. This report represents a decisive step toward a much broader and all-embracing process of repair that is adequate to resolve the extensive outstanding damages of the Genocide. Furthermore, genuine, non-denialist engagement with the legacy of the Genocide is growing in Turkey. Finally, in the past decade, there has emerged a global reparations movement involving numerous victim groups across an array of mass human rights violations. The Armenian case has a place within that movement.
(asbarez.com) GENEVA—The 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution Friday on the prevention of genocide introduced by Armenia. Armenia’s Foreign Ministry reported that 64 states joined Armenia and became co-authors of the resolution. The resolution will be open for co-authorship for another two weeks.
The resolution, adopted in Geneva on March 27, affirms that impunity for the crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity encourages their occurrence and is a fundamental obstacle to the furtherance of cooperation among peoples and the promotion of international peace and security, and that fighting impunity for such crimes is an important factor in their prevention.
In addition, it emphasizing the responsibility of states to comply with their obligations under relevant international instruments to end impunity and, to that end, to thoroughly investigate and prosecute persons responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or other massive, serious or systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in order to avoid their recurrence and to seek sustainable peace, justice, truth and reconciliation.
The resolution stresses the importance of the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence to the prevention of genocide. It also stresses that perpetrators of this crime should be held criminally accountable on the national or international level and acknowledges the work of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence and its positive impact on the prevention of gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law through a holistic approach to transnational justice.
It also condemns the intentional public denial or glorification of crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity as defined by international law, and notes with concern that public denials create a risk of further violations and undermine efforts to prevent genocide.
The resolution also recommends that the UN General Assembly designate December 9 as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of Genocide in order to raise awareness of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and its role in combating and preventing the crime of genocide.
(horizonweekly.com) The parliaments of Cordoba and Santa Fe have unanimously passed bills on proclaiming April 24 th as the Day of Solidarity between Nations and Remembrance of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide. As “Armenpress” reports, citing PrensaArmenia.com.ar, Law 26199 of Cordoba and Law 9585 of Santa Fe (administrative center of the State of Santa Fe) emphasize that the laws are being passed to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
It is also emphasized that with this, the two cities of Argentina are paying their tribute to the innocent victims and attaching importance to solidarity and mutual respect between nations. In 2006, the Senate of Argentina recognized the Armenian Genocide. On January 15, 2006, Argentina passed a law on condemning the first crime committed against humanity in the early 20 th century.
ARMENPRESS – The Spanish city of Xirivella has also joined the Spanish cities officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide. “Armenpress” reports about this citing the official Facebook page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.
Previously it was reported that the plenary session of City Council of Pinto (Spain) unanimously officially recognized Armenian Genocide. The decision, particularly, runs as follows: “Plenary session of Pinto City Council unanimously confirms official recognition of the Armenian Genocide and condemns crimes against humanity committed by the Ottoman Turks. This year marks 100th year of the first genocide of the 20th century, during which 1.5 million citizens was massacred and 2 million was forced to leave places of their residence.”
Xirivella is a municipality in the Valencian Community, Spain. It borders the city of Valencia, Alaquàs, Picanya and Mislata.
(horizonweekly.com) On the occasion of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Community Council of Rome had addressed a letter to all major regional councils of Italy, with a request for adopting resolutions on the Armenian Genocide.
The Tuscany region adopted a resolution at Wednesday’s regional parliament session, where it expressed support to the Armenian people.
The resolution states that it shall be sent to the Secretariat of the Armenian Community Council of Rome, so it may be transferred to the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan.
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres (8,900 square miles) and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).
(panorama.am) Today plenary session of City Council of Pinto (Spain) unanimously officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, the press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry reports.
“Plenary session of Pinto City Council unanimously confirms official recognition of the Armenian Genocide and condemns crimes against humanity committed by the Ottoman Turks. This year marks 100th year of the first genocide of the 20th century, during which 1.5 million citizens were massacred and 2 million were forced to leave places of their residence,” reads the decision.
(source: Civilnet.am) The Republic of Armenia’s National Assembly unanimously voted to adopt a statement recognizing and condemning the genocide of the Greeks and Assyrians by Ottoman Turkey at the beginning of the 20th Century. A standing ovation by all members of parliament followed the adoption of the statement on March 24.
Armenian lawmakers had drafted the statement after consultations with members of Armenia’s Greek and Assyrian communities.
The statement passed in Armenia’s parliament “Condemning the Genocide Against the Greeks and Assyrians during 1915-1923 by Ottoman Turkey” reads:
The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia:
guided by the December 11, 1946 UN General Assembly Resolution 96 (1), the December 9, 1948 resolution on the “Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” the November 26, 1968 UN Convention on the “Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity,” as well as all other international instruments on human rights with the their principles and provisions,
noting the centuries-long friendship between the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian people,
that it condemns the genocide committed against the Greek and Assyrians during 1915-1923 by Ottoman Turkey.
The Greek and Assyrian Genocides followed the Ottoman Empire’s policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against its Christian subjects during World War I. Like the Armenians, the Greeks and Assyrians were deported and massacred as many cultural, religious and historical sites relating to both ethnic groups were destroyed.
According to the Rutgers University Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, approximately 750,000 Assyrians died, which was three-fourths of the ethnic group’s pre-war population. Many survivors dispersed across the Middle East after the genocide.
The Assyrians continued to face adversity after World War I when 3,000 men, women and children were massacred by Iraqi troops in the northern Iraq town of Simele in 1933 and even today in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq War and the current threat posed by ISIS forces.
The Greek Genocide consisted of the massacre of Pontic Greeks along the Black Sea coast of modern-day Turkey and Anatolian Greeks. At least 350,000 Pontic Greeks died and at least 750,000 Anatolian Greeks perished.
Yerevan, Armenia, 17 March, 2015: Today, the fourth ordinary session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly adopted a resolution on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, calling on Turkey to reconcile with its past, stressing, that genocide denial is the final stage of genocide and that the absences of unequivocal and timely condemnation of the Armenian Genocide largely contributed to the failure to prevent future crimes against Humanity. The resolution recalls all EU, UN and other international declarations and resolutions adopted on Crimes against Humanity, and the Armenian Genocide.
Joint text for an Urgent Motion for Resolution by the Armenian and the European Parliament on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide (Final Version)
having regard to Article 9(3) of its Rules of Procedure;
having regard to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948;
having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966;
having regard to the UN Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of 26 November 1968;
having regard to the European Parliament Resolution of 20 July 1987 on a Political Solution to the Armenian question;
having regard to the European Parliament Resolution of 15 November 2000 on Turkey’s progress towards accession;
having regard to the European Parliament Resolution of 28 September 2005 on the opening of negotiations with Turkey;
having regard to the resolutions and statements of the legislative bodies of number of the EU members states.
whereas the year of 2015 marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire;
B whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world;
C whereas the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of genocide, enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides; whereas the absence of unequivocal and timely condemnation of the Armenian Genocide largely contributed to the failure to prevent future crimes against humanity;
D whereas early prevention of such crimes can surely stop escalation of conflicts, tragedies and humanitarian catastrophes.
condemns all forms of crimes against humanity and genocide and deeply deplore attempts of their denial;
pay tribute to the memory of innocent victims of all genocides and crimes, committed against humanity;
stresses that prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity should be amongst the priorities of international community; finds that further development of the international capacities in this regard is instrumental;
supports the international struggle for the prevention of genocides, the restoration of the rights of people subjected to genocide and the establishment of historical justice;
invites Turkey to come to term with its past;
considers that setting up grounds for future reconciliation between peoples is of utmost importance.