Komitas music opens UN conference in New York also addressing Armenian Genocide

Music by renowned Armenian composer Komitas opened a conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. The event hosted by UN Armenia was dedicated to the prevention and raising awareness of genocide.

Komitas music opens UN conference in New York also addressing Armenian Genocide

Komitas music opens UN conference in New York also addressing Armenian Genocide

STEPANAKERT, DECEMBER 10, ARTSAKHPRESS: “The Armenian nation passed through the horrors of genocide at the beginning of the 20th century. Therefore, Armenia has a special obligation to unite efforts to prevent genocide,” Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mher Margaryan stressed in his opening remarks, reports.

A genocide is preceded by events in which the rights and fundamental freedoms of the country’s most vulnerable groups are suppressed, Margaryan noted.

Executive Director of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, Simon Adams, who chaired the conference, reminded that 24 April 2020 will mark the 105th anniversary of the “targeted killings of Armenians started in the Ottoman Empire on April 24, 1915.”

"As a result of these actions more than one and a half million lives were destroyed. The United Kingdom, France, and Russia in May 1915 accused the Ottoman Empire of committing crimes against humanity – the first time that term was used to describe the extent of the atrocities,” Adams said.
Eric White, a history professor at New York College, stressed reading Ronald Suny’s works, his students are horrified and shocked at the level of violence the Armenian community of the Ottoman Empire was subjected to, and they demand an explanation.

A member of the Turkish Mission to UN asked for the right to speak, noting that the last years of World War I were a difficult period for the Ottoman Empire, during which all citizens of the empire suffered.

“It is the duty of humanity to affirm that Armenians suffered just like other citizens of the Ottoman Empire and the expression of various opinions about the events of 1915 in Turkey is part of the culture of democracy. However, to use the events of 1915 as a pretext to express hostility against Turkey, and to make this issue a political conflict is unacceptable,” he said.

International law does not recognize the events of 1915 as genocide, the Turkish representative concluded.

In response, President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars Henry Theriault noted that today, considering all the studies, even discussions on the denial of the Armenian Genocide are pointless.

“Your arguments were repeatedly refuted a long time ago, so I would urge you to do some work to make your speech more meaningful,” he stressed.

Upon the initiative of Armenia, in September 2015, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted resolution 69/323 proclaiming 9 December as an International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. This landmark resolution followed up on resolution 28/34 of the UN Human Rights Council initiated by Armenia.

The resolutions, which have led to the establishment of the day, as well as the events held in its observance add to the continued efforts of Armenia to promote consolidated international action against the crime of genocide.