BUENOS AIRES (Agencia Prensa Armenia)—The Chamber of Deputies of Argentina on Monday commemorated the 10th anniversary of the adoption of Law 26,199 that recognized the Armenian Genocide in Argentina with an act in the National Congress.
The event was convened by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Emilio Monzo, and the President of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Armenia, Waldo Wolff, who was one of the speakers with Deputies Remo Carlotto and Brenda Austin, along with the President Of the Armenian National Committee of South America, Bartolome Ketchian.
Deputy Waldo Wolff said in a speech that “if in World War I the world had not turned its back on the Armenian people we would surely not be lamenting the number of genocides that occurred in the 20th century.”
He added that he was proud to belong to a country that voted unanimously for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and expressed that he fully understands the indignation of the denial of genocide to the Armenians.
Brenda Austin said: “the genocide of which the Armenian people and the whole of humanity were a victim is perhaps the most cruel example of what a State is capable of when it does not recognize in the life of the Other human dignity.”
After describing the denial of the Armenian Genocide as complicity in the crime, Austin recognized with great pride the role global Argentina has played in the recognition process.
The deputy said that “our country has to honor its tradition committed to just causes and continue working so that what was the cause of the Armenian people continue to be the cause of the Argentine people and the cause of humanity.”
Remo Carlotto proudly recalled being among the 165 Deputies who voted in favor of the project to recognize the Armenian Genocide in 2006. “We applauded the possibility of giving an important signal to the whole of humanity,” he said.
“Argentina has built a tradition since the return of democracy: the three branches of government have recognized the Armenian Genocide and have behaved accordingly. We must always be attentive because holding the memory is to ensure that these events are not repeated,” said Carlotto
The ANC of Argentina’s Bartolome Ketchian began his remarks by saying that the event reaffirmed the commitment made by the same Congress ten years ago to recognize the Genocide committed by the Turkish State against the Armenian people. “We must recognize that in the face of attempts to misrepresent, undermine or deny [the Genocide], the Congress has always been on the side of historical truth.”
Ketchian reflected on the process of advancing the legislation at the time and stressed the importance the explicit recognition by the then president Raul Alfonsin in September of 1987, as well as various declarations by the Chamber of Deputies and Senators. He also recalled the veto of President Carlos Menem in 1995 of a law passed unanimously by Congress until the passage of the law in 2007 by President Nestor Kirchner, which he called “an act of courage that has allowed April 24 to become a ‘Day of Action for Tolerance and Respect among Peoples’ for ten years.”
Armenia’s Ambassador to Argentina, Ester Mkrtumyan, said, “can the civilized world accept the denial that Turkey insists on raising at state policy to reject that such a tragedy occurred.”
The Armenian National Committee acknowledged the legislators who took part in the process of approval of Law 26.199. The ANC presented certificates of appreciation to Rafael Bielsa, Hermes Binner, Carlos Raimundi, Federico Pinedo, Miguel Angel Pichetto, Ruben Giustiani, Ernesto Sanz, Vilma Ibarra, Agustin Rossi and Liliana Negre de Alonso.