For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell
CHILEAN SENATE UNANIMOUSLY RECOGNIZES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today welcomed the Chilean Senate’s unanimous passage of legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide and urging its government to support a key 1985 United Nations Subcommission report properly describing this crime against humanity as a clear instance of genocide.
“We join with Armenians in Chile, throughout South America, and around the world in welcoming Chilean Senate’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “The Chilean government’s principled stand further isolates Turkey and shines the spotlight of international public opinion on the remaining countries – the United States sadly among them – that insist upon remaining complicit in Ankara’s shameful campaign of genocide denial.”
The resolution was introduced by Senator Ricardo Nunez (Socialist) and cosponsored by Senators Guido Girardi, Jaime Naranjo, Jaime Gazmuri, Mariano Ruiz-Esquide, Alejandro Navarro, Camilo Escalona, Roberto Munoz Barra, Juan Pablo Letelier and Antonio Horvath. Citing the United Nations Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities report, the Senate noted the “ethical and moral imperative that Chile makes a resolution along the lines of that from 1985 which recognizes that the Ottoman Empire committed a brutal genocide in Armenia against a defenseless people that now cry out for moral reparations from part of the international community and especially Turkey.”
The Chilean Senate’s recognition was spearheaded by that country’s small but vibrant Armenian community, working closely with the Armenian National Committee of South America (ANC-SA). ANC of Argentina Chairman and longtime South American activist Hagop Tabakian noted that: “passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution in Chile is an important step in our progress toward our goal of all of South America taking a principled stand on this key human rights issue.”
Chile joins its South American neighbors Uruguay, Argentina, and Venezuela in properly characterizing Turkey’s systematic campaign to annihilate its Armenian population between 1915-1923 as genocide. Other countries worldwide that have also recognized the Armenian Genocide include Bulgaria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and The Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and various other European bodies.
The complete text of the resolution is provided below.
Recognizing the Armenian Genocide
(translated from Spanish)
Adopted June 5, 2007
1. that 24th of April, 1915, in Constantinople, then the capital of the Turkish Empire, after the unjust arrest and later the disappearance of the entire leading class of the Armenian community, marks the beginning of a policy of systematic extermination of the Armenian population on the part of the imperial authorities;
2. that the brutal genocide, enacted between 1915 and 1923, resulted in the deaths of over 1.5 million Armenian citizens that lived in the lands of their ancestors for thousands of years;
3. that this reproachable action constituted the first ethnic cleansing of the 20th century and more than that or even any judgment or interpretation of it, signifies a flagrant violation of the human rights of that nation;
4. that in spite of the intent to erase the collective memory of mankind and of the loss of sensibility of the great powers to end those acts, the Armenians and their several organizations around the world have found that part of the international community may recognize the genocide in which they were victim to be doomed;
5. that such a recognition was granted in 1985 by the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the UN that clarified the Armenian case as a genocide;
6. that nations such as Uruguay, Argentina, Greece, Bulgaria, Belgium, Russia, Italy, Lebanon, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, Venezuela, Lithuania, Canada and France have made their own resolutions like those also of the European Parliament;
7. that our nation has yet to be made to regret to permanently invoke the supremacy of Human Rights in international relations above whatever agreement or compromise regardless of how important it may be;
8. that consequently it constitutes an ethical and moral imperative that Chile makes a resolution along the lines of that from 1985 which recognizes that the Ottoman Empire committed a brutal genocide in Armenia against a defenseless people that now cry out for moral reparations from part of the international community and especially Turkey.
By virtue of these outlined issues, the Honorable Senate of the Republic decides
1. To support the Armenian nation in condemning the genocide of its people and,
2. To call on the government of Chile to adheres to the 1985 United Nations decision.