YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The official opening ceremony of Stockholm International Forum 2004–"Prevention of Genocide–Threats and Responsibility," was held on Monday morning–kicking-off the largest conference of its kind held in the world since 1948.
Prime Minister Gran Persson delivered opening remarks–followed by keynote speaker Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan–Professor Yehuda Bauer–Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and other distinguished speakers.
The first plenary panel "Identifying the Threats," was moderated Crisis Management Initiative President Martti Ahtisaari–with Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs H E Nana Akufo-Addo–Dr. Bernard Kouchner–Professor Samantha Power and Dr. Hans Blix–as panelists.
The UN secretary general Kofi Anan said in his speech that the genocide is a threat to peace. According to him–this crime must be opposed jointly politically or–in case of necessity–militarily. In his words–in this regard it is necessary to determine the cases when the military force must be used and when the usage of this force may be considered as illegal.
During his speech at the plenary session–Armenia’s prime minister Andranik Margarian suggested that the United Nations announce 2005 as the "Year of Struggle Against Wars–Genocides–Deportations and Violation of Human Rights," in commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the 60th Anniversary of Victory in World War II–and to end the four-year Stockholm conference. "This is the only way to break the silence and overcome conscious forgetfulness and hibernation. Nothing promotes the restoration of pre-genocide atmosphere and repetition of genocides in the future–than the policy of denial," he stressed.
The audience consisted of representatives from more than 50 governmen’s–16 international organizations–290 journalists and a number of experts and academics.
The EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy–Javier Solana will be the keynote speaker at the closing ceremony.