MELBOURNE, Australia—From August 19 to 20, the Victorian Young Labor held its Annual Conference at the Victorian Trades Hall in Melbourne, where delegates gathered for lively debate and passed various motions including a motion to recognize the Armenian Genocide, which was adopted without dissent.
The motion noted: “Raphael Lemkin invented the word genocide, based on defining the Armenian Genocide, in order to describe the systematic and brutal murder of an ethnic and religious minority… in 2017, a first major Hollywood film set during the events of the Armenian Genocide was aired to audiences around the world titled ‘The Promise’, further raising mass awareness of the issue.”
“Victorian Young Labor condemns the genocide of over one and a half million Christian Armenians, Assyrians and Pontian Greeks at the hands of the then Ottoman Empire and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of racial, religious and cultural intolerance.”
The motion called for the Victorian State and Commonwealth governments to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Victorian Young Labor Conference delegate Ariel Zohar, who moved the motion, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Victorian Young Labor, the largest democratic youth political body in Victoria, unanimously supported the motion and committed to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide.”
“Hopefully this motion contributes to the increasing global pressure for the Turkish state to pay reparations to the descendants of the victims and to the Armenian community for whom justice has still not yet been received.”
“With the South Australian and NSW Parliaments already passing similar motions of support, it is now up to the Victorian and Australian parliaments to follow suit,” Zohar added.
Armenian National Committee of Australia – Melbourne (ANC-AU Melbourne) chairperson, Asbed Boymoushakian congratulated and thanked Victorian Young Labor for their unanimous support and strength in standing up for truth and justice.
“This is motion is part of the tidal wave of growing pressure with countries and organizations around the world having already adopted similar motions calling for recognition,” he said.
“I call on all political parties and their youth wings to adopt the same stance, educate their members about the Armenian Genocide and stand shoulder to shoulder with many of the victims’ families and descendants, many of whom are fortunate to now call Australia home.”
Below is the complete text of the resolution.
Recognition of the Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide (1915-1923) was the first genocide of the 20th century. Historian Raphael Lemkin invented the word genocide, based on defining the Armenian Genocide in order to describe the systematic and brutal murder of an ethnic and religious minority. The Armenian Genocide victims were subjected to mass deportations, mass killings, forced starvation, exhaustion, and epidemics which ravaged the forced areas in which people lived in terrible conditions.
In 2017, a first major Hollywood film to set during the events of the Armenian Genocide was aired to audience all around the world, The Promise, further raising mass awareness of this issue. Over 100 years on the successor state to the Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey) still denies these events ever occurred despite 29 countries around the world today, as well as 46 states of the United States, recognizing the Armenian Genocide. In Australia the New South Wales and South Australian Parliaments have officially recognized the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide.
Victorian Young Labor joins the members of the Armenian-Australian community in honoring the memory of the innocent men, women and children who were victims of Armenian Genocide between 1915-1923 by formally recognizing the tragic horrors of the Armenian Genocide.
2. Victorian Young Labor condemns the genocide of over one and a half million Christian Armenians, Assyrians and Pontian Greeks at the hands of the then Ottoman Empire and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of racial, religious and cultural intolerance.
3. Victorian Young Labor recognizes the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated.
4. Victorian Young Labor acknowledges the significant humanitarian contribution made by the people of Victoria to the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
Victoria Young Labor will write to the Premier and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs calling for the Victorian State and Commonwealth Government to officially recognize and The Armenian Genocide.
2. Victorian Young Labor will raise awareness, calling for Recognition, through a targeted campaign centered around April 24, the International Day for The Armenian Genocide Commemoration.
3. Victorian Young Labor will host a screening of The Promise coinciding with April 24th to better educate it’s members on the significance of this dark chapter of human history.