Robertson, Fisk to Speak at Centennial Conference in New York

NEW YORK–Jurist Geoffrey Robertson and journalist Robert Fisk are among the confirmed speakers at “Responsibility 2015,” the international conference marking the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, to be held on March 13-15, 2015, at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Geoffrey Robertson
Geoffrey Robertson (Photograph: Rex Features)

Geoffrey Robertson is an international jurist, human rights lawyer, and academic. His latest book is An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Remembers the Armenians? In recent years, he has been particularly prominent in the defense of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He has also represented author Salman Rushdie, and prosecuted General Augusto Pinochet. In 2008, he was appointed by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a “distinguished jurist” member of the UN’s Justice Council, which nominates and supervises UN judges. His memoir, The Justice Game, has sold over 150,000 copies.

Robert Fisk is the Middle East correspondent of the Independent newspaper. He holds numerous awards for journalism, including two Amnesty International UK Press Awards and seven British International Journalist of the Year awards. During the 30 years he has been reporting on the Middle East, he has covered every major event in the region, from the Algerian Civil War to the Iranian Revolution, from the hostage crisis in Beirut to the Iran-Iraq War, from the Russian invasion of Afghanistan to Israel’s invasions of Lebanon, and from the Gulf War to the invasion and ongoing war in Iraq. His books include The Great War for Civilization: the Conquest of the Middle East.

Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk

The three-day conference will feature a lineup of prominent historians, policymakers, authors, and artists from around the globe. The program will consist of concurrent morning and afternoon panels and discussions focusing on justice and reparations for cases of genocide, the responsibility to protect (R2P), genocide research, activism for justice and accountability, building solidarity, and artistic responses to genocide and mass violence.

The “Responsibility 2015” conference is being organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern U.S. Centennial Committee, under the auspices of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America, Eastern Region.

Evening sessions bringing together policymakers, political leaders, artists, and celebrities known for their activism and humanitarian work will highlight the theme of responsibility to confront past injustices and struggle towards preventing new ones.

Photography and art exhibits with the theme of survival will be held at the same venue for the duration of the conference.

The organizing committee is comprised of the following scholars and activists: Khatchig Mouradian and Hayg Oshagan, co-chairs; George Aghjayan, Kim Hekimian, Antranig Kasbarian, and Henry Theriault.

For periodic updates, please contact conference coordinator Sarkis Balkhian at, or visit the conference website at


  1. Walter Scott’s Poem:
    ‘Battle of Flodden Hill of 1513’ and
    ‘The Armenian Genocide of 1915’

    Walter Scott did not forget the Flodden Battle (1513)
    And . . . He wrote his poetic major work ‘Marmion’ (1808).
    More than three hundred years after that pivotal event.
    In Scotland, in his great-great-grandfather’s land.
    Where he was yet to be born,
    He had heard stories of the battle in
    His mother’s enriched muscular cave!

    How can Armenians’ forget their Genocide (1915-1923)
    Where the intelligence-filled genes of Armenians
    Were savagely vanished?

    Now all that’s left are samples of their populace genes.
    In spite of all the slaughtered brains,
    They continue giving to the world
    Endless scientific inventions, immortal phrases, soulful arts . . .

    “How an ancient race can forget their crushed skulls
    still in so called in Anatolian lands . . . weeplessly yells.”

    How can humanity accept such unfair tragedies,
    Where no-one can sense
    The smashed human dendrites?

    Even the offspring of Arab Bedouins
    Know all the stories and some remember
    The faces of their beautiful dedicated
    Armenian grandmothers
    With their mental and physical scars
    Of Turkish scimitars.
    Later, were decorated overly with ‘blue tattoos’
    To look like Bedouin women.

    So-called Christian civilized MP’s
    and Congressional representatives
    On innocent Armenians’ crushed skulls
    Politically lance,

    Enjoying their drink and dance,
    Attending ceremonies,
    Shaping their wrinkled faces with
    Expensive colorful surgical make-ups;

    I can see they will all vanish
    If they remain ignoring . . .
    Human Rights.

    (C) Sylva Portoian, M.D, FRCP
    February 11, 2010

    * Sir Walter Scott’s (1771-1832) famous stanza:
    ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
    when first we practice to deceive’
    (from ‘Battle of Flodden Hill’)

  2. British People Remember
    To Add Another Leaf to Your Red Poppy
    For The Genocided Armenians (April 24, 1915)

    Before the World War I . . .
    Our Genocide began.
    You lost young soldiers,
    Martyred with their guns,

    Who went passionately,
    Defending their Crown;
    They did not return, . . .
    Were lamented by their nation

    By parents, wives, offspring,
    And their countrymen.
    You lost your bravest men . . . and
    We felt your sadness.

    We lost almost all our Artful, Literate
    Voiceless, Devoted, Enslaved populaces
    Slaughtered . . . raped . . . dehydrated . . .
    Famineated on the sunny Der Zor sand!

    When you remember your Armistice Day*,
    Please remember, for your soldiers’ sake,
    Our slaughtered unborn sons
    Who never grew to become young men!

    They fell to defend their dignity . . .
    Their faith, yours and each honest human.
    Along with democracy . . . human rights . . .
    Awake . . . return to your faith . . .

    Remember the Armenian Genocide.
    Add another leaf to your red poppy,
    And make Remembrance Day
    More humanitarian.

    We have not yet regained our rights,
    To our historic homeland . . .
    Our Biblical Mount Ararat of civilized hearts,
    Where the martyred proud reign.

    *November 11, 1918

  3. Congratulations! Great choices. Wonderful news.
    BUT more important than who is in the panel we should be concerned by WHO will attend… And what the mainstream impact will be. Is this advertised outside of the Armenian media? Is it open to International scholars and attendees? How can we publicize it further?

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