NATO Member Joins Growing Number of Nations Officially Recognizing Turkey's Crime Against Humanity

April 21, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC- With an overwhelmingly favorable vote of 153 to 68 in Parliament today, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member Canada joined the growing number of nations that have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The motion reads, simply “That this House acknowledges the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against humanity.’

“Armenians in America and throughout the world welcome this historic step by Canada,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “The Canadian Parliament, in rejecting intense Turkish government pressure, took an important step in further isolating Turkey for its shameful, international campaign of genocide denial.”

Today’s action, which followed yesterday’s second reading of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, Bill M-380, is the culmination of more than twenty years of work by the Armenian National Committee of Canada, (ANCC) in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and throughout the country. An ANCC team has been in the nation’s capital for the past several weeks representing the community’s views on this matter.

Dr. Girair Basmadjian, president of ANCC, was elated by the result of the vote. “As an Armenian, I was moved and felt grateful for the respect that was shown by the Canadian Parliament to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. As a Canadian, I am proud that the House of Commons adopted this historic motion.”

Bill M-380 was introduced last year by Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (Bloc Québecois), seconded by Sarkis Assadurian (Liberal), Alexa McDonogugh (National Democratic Party), Jason Kenney (Conservative Party). On February 21st, the Parliament held its first reading, which included an hour of debate on the measure. Among those speaking in favor of the Resolution during the first reading were Derek Lee (Liberal), Eleni Bakopnaos (Liberal), Francine Lalonde (BQ), Stockwell Day (PC) and the Hon, Lorne Nystrom (NDP).

The governing Liberal leadership paved the way for this vote by allowing a “free vote,” meaning that individual members are allowed to vote their conscience, without any pressure or negative repercussions from their respective party leaderships.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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