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July 22 2018 | 8:34pm AET

South Australian Young Labor recognises the Armenian Genocide and Republic of Artsakh

Source: ANC Australia | Wednesday, 09 May 2018
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ADELAIDE: South Australian Young Labor (SAYL) has passed a motion recognising the Armenian Genocide and the rights to self-determination of the Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh at their meeting in Adelaide on Thursday 3rd May 2018, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

The motion, which also recognises the Genocide of Assyrians and Greeks, was moved by Jason Byrne.

It reads: "SAYL recognises the forced deportation and murder of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek peoples as meeting the internationally recognised benchmarks for classification as Genocides."

"SAYL supports the motion passed by the South Australian Parliament in 2009, including calls for the Federal Government to recognise the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides."

"SAYL stands in solidarity with the indigenous Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh supporting their right to self determination and their efforts to reach a lasting peace in the region."

ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian welcomed what he called "a groundbreaking motion".

"This motion is groundbreaking, because while we have had state youth branches of both of Australia's major parties recognise the Armenian Genocide, this is the first that also recognises the right to self-determination of the Republic of Artsakh," Kayserian said.

"We thank South Australian Young Labor for standing on the side of truth and justice on the Armenian Genocide and for standing with the Armenians of Artsakh."

Hilary Wigg, the President of SAYL, said: "I think it’s shameful that governments across the globe, including our own Federal Government, do not recognise the tragedy that was faced during the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides."

She added: "SAYL supported Australia when facing a dark chapter in its history, with the Stolen Generation apology. With this motion, we call on Turkey to do the same, to end the cycle of denial and deliver justice to the Armenian people who suffered what can only be described as a genocide."

Byrne, who moved the motion, said: "It's really important that countries like Australia recognise these atrocities as genocide, because otherwise crimes like this will be repeated with impunity and the perpetrators will never be brought to justice."

On the historic recognition of the Republic of Artsakh, Wigg said: "We also stand in support of all people's right to self-determination, including the  indigenous Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh who democratically chose their independence after the fall of the Soviet Union."

The motion contains the following action for SAYL: "SAYL will work to foster meaningful links with the people of the Republic of Artsakh to create a lasting bond between SAYL and the Republic."

Wigg also commented on the recent protests in the Republic of Armenia, which has increased hopes for major reforms: "I have been briefed by the Armenian National Committee that the people of Armenian have recently exercised their democratic right to protest including a general strike to bring much needed reforms to the country. We stand in solidarity with people of Armenia."

Read the full motion below:



Recognising the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides, standing in solidarity with the Armenian People of the Republic of Artsakh

Preamble:

April saw global remembrance and rallies about the 103rd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the genocide of Assyrians and Greeks, which represents one of the darkest chapters in the 20th Century. 

The forced deportation and murder of 1.5 million Armenians, and approximately 1 million Assyrian and Greeks between 1915 and 1923 by the Ottoman Empire, through death marches and military actions aimed to wipe the their culture off the map. 

The Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides have been denied and enabled by governments and political bodies across the world who do not recognise the systematic violence and suppression perpetrated against the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek people for more than one hundred years ago. 

In 2009, the South Australian Parliament passed a motion that recognised the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides and called on the Federal Government to do the same. 

Unfortunately this genocidal policy and continued denial has created an environment in which anti Armenia rhetoric and action can continue to this day. In particular Azerbaijan has adopted a similar policy against the Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh (formerly known as the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh) and regularly violates the ceasefire and hinders the peace process.

Motion:

SAYL recognises the forced deportation and murder of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek peoples as meeting the internationally recognised benchmarks for classification as Genocides. 

SAYL supports the motion passed by the South Australian Parliament in 2009, including calls for the Federal Government to recognise the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides. 

SAYL Stands in Solidarity with the indigenous Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh supporting their right to self determination and their efforts to reach a lasting peace in the region.

Action:

SAYL delegates will vote in favour of recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides in debates at AYL National Conference.

SAYL will work to foster meaningful links with the people of the Republic of Artsakh to create a lasting bond between SAYL and the Republic.