Saturday, September 12, 2015

Armenia Leads UN Effort to Designate Dec. 9 International Genocide Commemoration Day

UNITED NATIONS—The Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations lead an effort for the body’s General Assembly to pass resolution Friday proclaiming December 9 as the annual “International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.” The resolution, adopted by consensus, had the support of over 80 member countries, including the United States.

“We were pleased to see Ambassador Samantha Power voice support for this Armenia-lead initiative in the United Nations to mobilize the international community and global public opinion in support of the noble – but still unrealized – aims of the Genocide Convention,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Unfortunately, despite this vote, the Obama Administration remains actively complicit in Turkey’s ongoing denial of truth and obstruction of justice for the Armenian genocide – a shameful outsourcing of American policy that stands starkly at odds with both the spirit and the letter of this measure.”

The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect praised the resolution and after acknowledging the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide said: “In the aftermath of these tragedies the UN and its member states have sometimes undertaken initiatives to respond to past failures, including the 2005 adoption of the principle of the Responsibility to Protect. But ongoing crises today underline the need for effective action to prevent the perpetration of genocide and other mass atrocity crimes wherever and whenever they occur.

This annual day of commemoration will serve as an opportunity for member states to

  • The full text of the resolution is provided below.

International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of This Crime

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and other relevant international instruments,

Recalling its resolutions 96 I) of 11 December 1946, 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948 and 53/43 of 2 December 1998, and other relevant resolutions within the United Nations system that have contributed to the establishment and development of the process of prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide,

Recalling also Human Rights Council resolutions 7/25 of 28 March 2008, 22/22 of 22 march 2013 and 28/34 of 27 March 2015 on the prevention of genocide,

Acknowledging that victims of and others affected by the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention call for a form of memorialization, which plays an important role in the prevention of genocide,

Reiterating the responsibility of each individual State to protect its populations from genocide, which entails the prevention of such crime, including incitement to it, through appropriate and necessary means, and that fighting impunity for the crime of genocide is an important factor in its prevention,

Reaffirming its resolution 53/199 of 15 December 1998 and 61/185 of 20 December 2006 on teh proclamation of international years, and Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67 of 25 July 1980 on international years and anniversaries, particularly paragraphs 1 to 10 of the annex thereto on the agreed criteria for their proclamation, and paragraphs 13 and 14, stating that an international day or year should not be proclaimed before the basic arrangements for its organization and financing have been made,

1. Decides to proclaim 9 December as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of This Crime;

2. Encourages all Member and observer States, all organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, and civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day in order to raise awareness of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and its role in combating and preventing the crime of genocide, as defined in the Convention, and to commemorate and honour its victims;

3. Stresses that the cost of all activities that may arise from the implementation of the present resolution shall be met from voluntary contributions.

4. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and civil society organizations for appropriate observance.

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