The Genocide Against the Armenians 1915-23 and the Relevance of the 1948 Genocide Convention
By Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, with a preface by the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva
On the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
Dr. Alfred de Zayas is a renowned legal expert and professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy in Switzerland. He has served as a senior lawyer in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and as secretary of the Human Rights Committee.
In this concise, 106-page book, de Zayas argues that the Genocide Convention did not create the rights of the Armenians to reparation, nor the obligation of Turkey to assume its erga omnes responsibilities to the Armenians and the world. These rights and obligations existed from the outset and were recognized in Articles 144 and 230 of the Treaty of Sevres. The non-implementation of the provisions of this treaty by Turkey does not affect the rights and obligations derived from the historical fact of the genocide, argues De Zayas.
De Zayas shows how the Genocide Convention strengthened the pre-existing rights of the Armenians—rights that have not diminished because of a lapse of time. He further outlines the issues of state succession and the continuing Turkish obligation to make reparations to the descendants of the victims.
Beyond restitution and compensation, the book focuses on the right of the Armenian people to their cultural heritage, including their churches and monasteries in what is now Turkey, as the human right to one’s cultural heritage is stipulated in international law and relevant UNESCO resolutions.
Finally, the problem of denial is addressed from the human rights perspective as a violation of human dignity, because all human beings, including the Armenians have, the right to truth, to their identity, and to their history.
The Genocide Against the Armenians 1915-23 and the Relevance of the 1948 Genocide Convention is available in the U.S. by contacting the Armenian Missionary Association of America (201-265-2607, [email protected]); in France by contacting the Librairie Orientale H. Samuelian (01-43-26-88-65); or in Lebanon by contacting Haigazian University (961-1-349230/1, [email protected]).