On Tuesday, July 6, 2015, the Socialist International Council, meeting in the United Nations headquarters in New York, decided to take action regarding the issue of the Armenian Genocide.
SI Secretary General Luis Ayala informed the Council, that for the last two days the SI leadership has been consulting with the SI member parties from Armenia (ARF-Dashnaktsutyun) and Turkey (CHP, People’s Republican Party) to come to an agreement on the agenda item which was passed on from the last Council meeting in Geneva: “The views of the Socialist International on the issue of the Armenian Genocide, considering its recognition by a number of national parliaments and supranational institutions.”
Luis Ayala was glad to inform to the Council that an agreement has been reached and he thanked the SI vice-presidents from Armenia (Mario Nalpatian, ARF-D) and Turkey (Umut Oran, CHP) for their contributions to come to an agreement, which is presented to the Council for adoption.
The SI Secretary General said that on the occasion of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the Socialist International wants to take action and to organize a hearing or a round table discussion with the participation of member parties both from Turkey and Armenia as well as any other willing SI member party, as well as civil societies and intellectuals from both Armenia and Turkey on the following question: “Would Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide allow for genuine reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia?”
Luis Ayala went on to say that the conclusions of the discussion will be distributed worldwide and reported to the next Council of the Socialist International.
The SI Council unanimously adopted the decision.
After the adoption of the decision, Giro Manoyan, member of the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau made the following statement:
Dear Secretary General,
We welcome the inclusion of the issue of the Armenian Genocide on the agenda of this SI Council meeting.
We do not consider this issue to be a dispute on a historical event, although that is exactly what the official Turkish policy of denial would want us to believe.
The official Turkish policy of denial is part and parcel of a comprehensive hostile policy against Armenia and the Armenian people being implemented for over a century in Turkey and around the world through different actions, including the illegal land blockade against Armenia for the last 22 years.
I do not wish to go into the historical details of the Armenian Genocide, because there is ample evidence in the archives of not only the countries which were at war with Turkey during World War I, but also in the archives of Turkey’s major wartime ally Germany, and of course in the archives of Turkey itself, even after major clean-ups until the opening of those archives and regardless of the fact that the archives of the armed forces and of the registry of real estate, the cadastre, of that period are still not open.
I want to comment on why should the Socialist International adopt a pro-active position on this issue.
Because that would help in the democratization of Turkey. The international recognition of the Armenian Genocide by different countries and supranational organizations has helped progressive political forces, civil society circles and human rights advocates in Turkey to come to terms with their history by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and seeking justice for this systematic campaign of destruction of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and Pontians upon their historical homelands.
The Socialist International should adopt a position on this issue because a number of its member parties, particularly in countries which are NATO allies with Turkey, have adopted a position in favor of recognition of the Armenian Genocide and have done so as an expression of genuine friendship with Turkey to help it come to terms with its own history. Furthermore, the IUSY council and the bureau of the YES recently adopted resolutions on the issue.
Last but not least, the Socialist International should adopt a position on this issue because it has member parties in both Turkey and Armenia and can be helpful in fostering dialogue between them not on the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, but rather on trying to find a just resolution to the Armenian Genocide issue by helping the government of Turkey to stop its policy of denial of this historic fact and to acknowledge its responsibility. By doing so, the Socialist International would be instrumental in efforts for genuine reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia and the Armenian people worldwide in a spirit of truth, respect and justice.
I believe such international positive impact in Turkey on the issue of the Armenian Genocide is the main reason why three of the four main political parties represented in the Turkish parliament, decided to have at least one ethnic Armenian candidate on their lists and now all three of them have ethnic Armenian members of parliament, which is unprecedented during the Republic of Turkey’s history.
In order to be part of these positive developments, the Socialist International should adopt a progressive and pro-active position on the Armenian Genocide.
And the decision made today here is in that direction.
The meeting of the Council of the Socialist International began on Monday, July 5 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Council addressed matters central to the concerns of our movement and of the international community, including Security, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change and the forthcoming COP21 summit that is taking place later this year.
The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun delegation was composed of Mario Nalpatian (ARF-D representative to the SI), Giro Manoyan, Aram Hovagimian and Nanore Barsoumian.
The Socialist International is the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties. It currently brings together 170 political parties and organizations from all continents. George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, is the President of the organization and Luis Ayala, from Chile, is the Secretary General.
In September 1996, the ARF-D rejoined the Socialist International, which it had originally joined in 1907. In 2003, the ARF-D became a full member of the Socialist International, thus becoming the only party in the CIS with such a status. During the XXIII Congress of the Socialist International, ARF-D representative Mario Nalpatian is vice-president of the organization. ARF-D Bureau member is co-chair of the SI Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea. The ARF-D was recently accepted as observer member of the PES (Party of European Socialists).
The ARF-D Women’s Group is a member of the SIW (Socialist International Women). The youth organization of the ARF-D, the Armenian Youth Federation, is a full member of the IUSY (International Union of Socialist Youth) and the YES (Youth of European Socialists).