YEREVAN — Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide:

Today, on December 9, Armenia, together with all the progressive humanity of the world, commemorates the victims of the Crime of Genocide.

In 2015 Armenia guided the international efforts to designate December 9 as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

“Armenia, as a nation which has survived the Genocide, has been an advocate for the fight against this crime on the international arena for many years, and is consistently working towards the prevention of the crime of genocide, raising awareness of the dangers of hate crimes and building legal and institutional capacities to respond to them,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“Along with the efforts, the world today encounters serious challenges such as the rise of intolerance and extremism, gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as human life and dignity,” it added.

“This challenge should not only be a reason for condemning and compassionate calls, but also for putting on the agenda the steps aimed at strengthening the early response mechanisms within the international organizations,” the statement reads.

“Genocide and other mass atrocities are usually pre-planned, and are carried out by targeting the civilian population, destroying cultural and religious heritage, and spreading extreme hatred. All these actions were carried out against the people of Artsakh during the aggression unleashed since September 27, 2020, which was planned and implemented by Azerbaijan with the full political and military support of Turkey and the involvement of foreign mercenaries and terrorist fighters. Thus, with new victims of genocidal actions, the Armenian people was once again exposed to existential threat,” the Ministry said.

“One of the main reasons that leads to genocide, as well as other crimes against humanity, is impunity. Inappropriate condemnation of past crimes and avoiding of punishment create fertile ground for denial and justification of genocide. These factors pose a serious threat to the efforts aimed at strengthening democracy and human rights, as those states that turn genocide denial into a state ideology will never ensure the realization of such basic rights like freedom of speech, assembly, protection of minorities and the fight against racism and intolerance,” the Ministry added.

It stressed that the prevention of mass atrocities is first and foremost a responsibility and Armenia will continue its efforts to actively contribute to the promotion of this vital issue within the global agenda.

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