BRUSSELS—During its plenary session, the European Parliament today adopted a resolution on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) reported. The European Council was represented by Kalinina Lukaševica and the European Commission by Kristalina Georgieva, vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources.
The resolution on the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, which was supported by all political groups in the European Parliament, stated:
“Whereas an increasing number of member states and national parliaments recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire;
“whereas one of the main motivations of the European unification movement is the will to prevent the recurrence of wars and crimes against humanity in Europe…
“whereas the importance of keeping the memories of the past is paramount, since there can be no reconciliation without the truth and remembrance;
“Pays tribute, on the eve of the Centenary, to the memory of the one-and-a-half million innocent Armenian victims who perished in the Ottoman Empire; joins the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of European solidarity and justice; calls on the Commission and Council to join the commemoration.”
In calling on its member states to recognize the Armenian Genocide, the resolution referred to the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013, adopted on March 12, 2015, and the European Union’s policy on the matter.
The resolution further stated that “the European Parliament calls on Turkey to come to terms with its past by recognizing the Armenian Genocide and thus pave way for a genuine reconciliation.”
It also mentioned the European Parliament’s resolution of June 18, 1987, in which inter alia it recognized that the tragic events that took place in 1915-17 against the Armenians in the territory of the Ottoman Empire represented a genocide as defined in the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, and further condemns all occurrences of crimes against humanity and genocide, strongly deploring any attempts of their denial.
Today’s resolution further called for the establishment of an “International Remembrance Day for Genocides” and stressed that the timely prevention and effective punishment of genocide and crimes against humanity should be among the main priorities of the international community and the EU.
An unprecedented number of members of the European Parliament took the stage and showed their solidarity to the Armenian nation and support of the resolution, and specifically called what befell the Armenians a genocide. Pope Francis’ message of reconciliation and peace was also mentioned and included in the final version of the resolution.
Kaspar Karampetian, the president of EAFJD, said, “Armenians all over the world welcome this resolution in this Centennial year of the Armenian Genocide. The European Union is a union of values, dignity, and human rights, and we expect all countries willing to join it, to have reconciled with their past, have friendly relations with their neighbors, and look forward to a brighter and peaceful future without [such] crimes, without genocide. We expect Turkey come to terms with its past and acknowledge the crime it has committed against the Armenian population 100 years ago, with all its consequences.”
Karampetian stressed the need for the EU Council and Commission to show more courage, to acknowledge the crime with its proper name, and to not hide behind EU member countries that have not yet recognized the Armenian Genocide.
Karampetian also said that Armenians support those democratic forces in Turkey that challenge the Turkish state’s denial policy, and push for recognition of the crime of genocide against the Armenians. He highlighted the well-coordinated and organized work of the Republic of Armenia’s Permanent Mission to the EU, the Armenian National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Relations, and the European Friends of Armenia, whose efforts led to having this resolution adopted.