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Canadian State Resolution - 13 June 2002

Debates of the Senate (Hansard) - 1st Session, 37th Parliament, Volume 139, Issue 124, Thursday, June 13, 2002

That this House calls upon the Government of Canada:

(a) to recognize the genocide of the Armenians and to condemn any attempt to deny or distort a historical truth as being anything less than genocide, a crime against humanity, and

(b) to designate April 24th of every year hereafter throughout Canada as a day of remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians who fell victim to the first genocide of the twentieth century.


Appendix Preamble to the Resolution of the Honourable Shirley Maheu

Resolution on the Recognition and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide

WHEREAS on April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Turkish authorities arrested, and later executed, over 2300 prominent leaders of the Armenian community in Istanbul, without cause or reason, but for their race and religion, signalling the beginning of the first genocide of the 20th century;

WHEREAS using the First World War as a cover for their operations, Ottoman Turkish authorities ordered and carried out the systematic slaughter of Armenians living in six provinces of Eastern Anatolia and Cilicia, in an effort to exterminate the Armenian presence in those regions;

WHEREAS the Ottoman Turkish authorities exiled the survivors of the massacres from their homes and native lands;

WHEREAS the historical record clearly demonstrates that the events occurring between 1915 and 1918 that resulted in the massacre and exile of the Armenian population of Eastern Anatolia and Cilicia constitutes a genocide as defined by international customary law and by the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide of December 11th, 1948;

WHEREAS the government of the Republic of Turkey distorts the historical record and denies that the Armenian Genocide took place;

WHEREAS the parliaments of Argentina, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Russia, Sweden, Uruguay and the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches have condemned the massacres of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire and recognized them as constituting a genocide;

WHEREAS the Armenian Genocide has also been recognized by the National Assembly of Quebec, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the Canadian Council of Churches;

WHEREAS thousands of Armenian Genocide survivors and their descendants now reside in Canada as Canadian citizens and enrich Canada's multicultural heritage;

WHEREAS Canada is a country which prides itself on the rule of law and of the respect of human rights and liberties;

WHEREAS April 24th has become a symbolic date of remembrance for Armenian-Canadians and for people of Armenian origin all over the world;

WHEREAS the resolution of the Armenian Genocide issue could help peacefully resolve several long-lasting conflicts inthe South Caucasus

That this House calls upon the Government of Canada:

(a) to recognize the genocide of the Armenians and to condemn any attempt to deny or distort a historical truth as being anything less than genocide, a crime against humanity, and

(b) to designate April 24th of every year hereafter throughout Canada as a day of remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians who fell victim to the first genocide of the twentieth century.

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