NEW YORK — On December 9 in the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations organized a Round-table discussion, entitled “Remembrance and Education as Powerful Tools for Prevention: Drawing Lessons to Address Challenges”, dedicated to the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.
The Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations Mher Margaryan, Executive Director of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect Dr. Simon Adams, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Mr. Adama Dieng, President of International Association of Genocide Scholars Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Professor from Clark University Dr. Johanna Vollhardt, and Professor of History from the City College of New York Dr. Eric D. Weitz delivered remarks at the event.
The conference opened with music by Komitas, performed by “Aria” string quartet of New York-based Armenian musicians, dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of the great composer.
“The Armenian nation passed through the horrors of genocide at the beginning of the 20th century. Therefore, Armenia has a special obligation to unite efforts to prevent genocide,” Margaryan said in his opening remarks.
The genocide was preceded by events in which the rights and fundamental freedoms of the country’s most vulnerable groups were suppressed, Margaryan noted.
The panelists discussed the role of remembrance and education in raising awareness on genocides, addressing the root causes of intolerance and discrimination and prevention of crimes against humanity and genocides.
Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect , who hosted the conference, reminded that April 24, 2020 will mark the 105th anniversary of start of the “targeted killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire on April 24, 1915.”
“As a result of these actions more than one and a half million lives were destroyed. The United Kingdom, France, and Russia in May 1915 accused the Ottoman Empire of committing crimes against humanity – the first time that term was used to describe the extent of the atrocities,” he added.
The event was attended by the Permanent Representatives of the UN member states, diplomats, officials of the UN Secretariat, as well as representatives of civil society, academia and the Armenian community.