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14 September 2009

2954) Armenian Genocide And International Law Conference Concludes Its Sessions At Haigazian University Beirut

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The two-day international conference entitled "the Armenian Genocide and International Law" organized by Haigazian University and the Armenian National Committee - Middle East concluded its sessions on Friday, September 4, 2009, with full days of enriching discussions and deliberations.

This long planned conference, unfolded on Wednesday, September 2, 2009, with the inaugural speech of the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus, H.E. Marios Garoyan who stated that his presence as the guest speaker of the conference is driven by his country's "commitment to international law, peace, security and stability, but also the determination to continue to condemn, on every possible occasion, any infringement of International Law by acts of Genocide."

During the next two days of the conference, thirteen experts . . in the field of Genocide and International Law, coming from the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, Armenia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon joined the eighty Lebanese local community of political scientists and activists, sociologists, historians, religious leaders, educators, intellectuals, international correspondents, journalists and students, in establishing a solid step in the direction of addressing the consequences of the Armenian Genocide and promoting a fair perspective through international law.
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In a profoundly academic atmosphere, the conference covered such topics as genocide denial and recognition issues, Turkish nationalism and the politics of denial, as well as the economic aspect of the genocide and the issues of lands and assets. Within the framework of international law, the conference discussed the general topics of genocide and crime against humanity, retribution, and preservation of the Armenian cultural heritage.

More specifically, Dr. George Charaf from the Lebanese University, lectured on the Problem of Minorities and Majorities, discussing the case of the Ottoman Empire.

Dr. Ugur Ungor, from the University of Sheffield, talked about demographic Engineering in the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Genocide.

Dr. Mohammad Rifaat, from the University of Alexandria, discussed the Armenian Question according to Arab sources.

Dr. William Schabas from the National University of Ireland, discussed the problems and prospects of the Genocide and International Law, 60 years after the Convention.

Dr. Alfred De Zayas, from the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, elaborated on the issues of justice and international law regarding the Armenian Genocide.

Khatchig Mouradian, a PhD candidate in Genocide Studies at Clark University, lectured on the Armenians, Raphael Lemkin and the UN Convention.

Dr. Taner Akcam's paper on Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide Issue in Turkey today was read in absentia.

Dr. Ragip Zarakolu, Vice President of Human Rights Association of Turkey, tackled the issue of Genocide Denialism and Law in Turkey.

In the same context, Dr. Seyhan Bayraktar, from the University of Zurich, covered the evolution of the Armenian genocide denial in the Turkish Press.

A PhD. Candidate, at John Hopkins University, Bilgin Ayata talked about the Kurdish - Armenian relations and the Armenian Genocide.

Dr. Roger Smith, a professor Emeritus of government at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, lectured on Professional Ethics and the Denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Dr. Henry Theriault, from the Worcester State College, talked about restorative justice and alleviating the consequences of genocide.

And finally, Dr. Rihard Hovannissian, from the UCLA, covered the issue of universalizing the legacy of the Armenian Genocide.

The discussants and moderators of the sessions, were Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dr. Naila Kaidbey, Mr. Giro Manoyan, Dr. Rania Masri, Dr. Joseph Bayeh, Dr. Ohannes Geukjian, Mr. Antranig Dakessian, and Dr. Haig Demoyan.

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The two-day conference ended with a brainstorming session.

Haigazian University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian considered that such conferences will always keep the Genocide issue alive, giving an increasingly growing international momentum to it. Moreover, Haidostian said that "the Genocide topic and this conference in particular, will hopefully open the door to further academic studies and research, activating deeper study in the economic, social and legal aspects of inter-state relations."
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Mouradian-Manoyan-Schabas-Zaya

Parallel to the conference, public lectures were held during three evenings, on related topics.

It is planned that the conference proceedings will be published in a separate volume.

Haigazian University Armenian National Committee - Middle East September 8, 2009
Armenian Weekly
BEIRUT—A two-day international conference on “The Armenian Genocide and International Law,” organized by Haigazian University and the Armenian National Committee of the Middle East (ANC-ME), concluded on Sept. 4.

The conference drew in 13 experts in genocide and international law from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, Armenia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon, who joined more than 80 local political scientists, activists, sociologists, historians, religious leaders, educators, international correspondents, journalists, and students in addressing the consequences of the Armenian Genocide and promoting a fair perspective through international law.

It covered such topics as genocide denial and recognition, Turkish nationalism, and the politics of denial, as well as the economic aspect of the genocide and the issue of lands and assets. Within the framework of international law, the conference discussed the general topic of genocide and crimes against humanity, retribution, and the preservation of the Armenian cultural heritage.

More specifically, Dr. George Charaf (University of Lebanon) lectured on the problem of minorities and majorities, discussing the case of the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Ugur Ungor (University of Sheffield) talked about demographic engineering in the Ottoman Empire and the genocide. Dr. Mohammad Rifaat (University of Alexandria) discussed the Armenian Question according to Arab sources. Dr. William Schabas (National University of Ireland) discussed the problems and prospects of the genocide and international law, 60 years after the International Genocide Convention. Dr. Alfred De Zayas (Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations) elaborated on the issues of justice and international law regarding the genocide. Khatchig Mouradian (Ph.D. student, Clark University) lectured on the Armenians, Raphael Lemkin, and the UN Convention. Dr. Taner Akcam’s paper, entitled “Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide Issue in Turkey Today,” was presented in absentia. Dr. Ragip Zarakolu (vice president, Human Rights Association of Turkey) tackled the issue of genocide denial and law in Turkey.

In the same context, Dr. Seyhan Bayraktar (University of Zurich) covered the evolution of Armenian Genocide denial in the Turkish press. Bilgin Ayata (PhD. Candidate, John Hopkins University) discussed Kurdish-Armenian relations and the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Roger Smith (professor emeritus of government, College of William and Mary) lectured on professional ethics and the denial of the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Henry Theriault (Worcester State College) discussed restorative justice and alleviating the consequences of genocide. And finally, Dr. Richard Hovannisian (UCLA) covered the issue of universalizing the legacy of the Armenian Genocide.

The sessions were moderated by Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dr. Naila Kaidbey, Giro Manoyan, Dr. Rania Masri, Dr. Joseph Bayeh, Dr. Ohannes Geukjian, Antranig Dakessian, and Dr. Haig Demoyan. Conference organizers have announced that the presentations will be published in a volume.

Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, the president of Haigazian University, said that such conferences keep the genocide issue alive and add to the increasingly growing international momentum toward recognition. “The topic of genocide, and this conference in particular, will hopefully open the door to further academic studies and research, activating deeper study in the economic, social, and legal aspects of inter-state relations,” he said.

“The Armenian Genocide is not simply an Armenian problem but essentially an international burden,” he added. “The victim carries a strong sense of ownership of pain, but human civilization cannot be considered as highly developed if it does not embrace a sense of advocacy for the victimized.”

Haidostian spoke about four key points. First, “that injustices of any nation against any other nation are part of the same human manifestation of evil that require joint and effective global action.” Second, “that this international conference convenes in a country, Lebanon, which continues to be a unique land of dialogue and culture despite the ever-present seeds of misunderstanding.” Third, giving the example of Haigazian University, and more specifically the name of Armenag Haigazian, a victim of the genocide, Haidostian emphasized that “our calling has been and continues to be standing up for new life not only for Armenians but especially for our Arab brothers and sisters, and really, all people of the world.” Finally, Haidostian explained that given the fact that the conference was being held at a university no academic community can be value-neutral. “A university may be a neutral medium of dialogue, but it is essentially a forum of passion for deeper knowledge, responsibility, and enlightenment.”

In her message, Vera Yacoubian, the executive director of the ANC-ME, spoke about the efforts of the ANC in highlighting the Armenian community’s role throughout the Middle East, its coexistence with surrounding Arab and Islamic communities, and its efforts in addressing the Armenian Cause.

Yacoubian expressed hope that the conference would provide a significant breakthrough in analyzing the Armenian Genocide, as it brought together a large group of specialists in the arena of genocide and international law.

Regarding Turkish-Armenian relations, Yacoubian noted, “We cannot ignore or disregard recent developments and address these pending issues without resolving past history between the two nations. Indeed, Turkish-Armenian relations carry the heavy burden of the Armenian Genocide and there is high level of doubt and mistrust regarding Turkish intentions.”

Yacoubian concluded by questioning Turkey’s responsibility towards acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and the future of the Armenian Cause.

Marios Garoyan, the president of the House of Representatives of Cyprus, gave the inaugural speech at the conference on Sept. 2. His presence as the guest speaker, he said, was driven by his country’s “commitment to international law, peace, security, and stability, but also the determination to continue to condemn, on every possible occasion, any infringement of international law by acts of genocide.”

“On the one hand, governments and parliaments should act together and closely cooperate in terms of assessing the progress made with regard to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and identify measures to be taken at all levels,” he said. “On the other hand, it is the states that must cooperate for the prevention and punishment of those responsible for the crime of genocide.”

Garoyian questioned Turkey’s role as mediator, peacemaker, and peacekeeper in the wider Middle East, while Turkey continues to deny the truth of the crimes perpetrated by its Ottoman predecessors.

He noted that Cyprus has always stood by the Armenian people in their struggle for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In 1975, the Cyprus House of Representatives was one of the first parliaments in the world to adopt a resolution calling the atrocities inflicted upon the Armenians “genocide.” Garoyian added that Cyprus and its people have many more reasons to understand the injustice of the genocide due to “the implementation of Turkey’s policy of ethnic cleansing against Cyprus’ population during the 1974 invasion and the continuing occupation of 37 percent of Cyprus’ territory.”

Among the capacity audience were Minister Alain Tabourian, representing the Lebanese president, Michel Suleiman; parliament member Hagop Pakradouni, representing the parliament speaker, Nabih Berry; Minister Jean Oghasabian, representing the president of the Council of Ministers, Fouad Sanioura; parliament member Sebouh Kalpakian, representing the appointed president of the Council of Ministers, Saad Rafic Hariri; parliament member Shant Chinchinian; ambassadors of the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic; the president of the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, Rev. Megrdich Karagozian; the Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Lebanon, Bishop Kegham Khatcherian; the president of the Armenian Protestant community in Syria, Rev. Haroutune Selimian; representatives of embassies, Armenian and Lebanese political parties, and cultural associations; former members of parliament; ministers; religious leaders; and guests of the conference.

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The inaugural session of the conference took place at the hall of the First Armenian Evangelical Church of Beirut. Public lectures by some of the participants of the conference took place during the first week of September.

One of the speakers was Prof Alfred De Zayas and his earlier speaches between 2003-2008 were:
  • Genocide Against Armenians 1915-1923 And Application Of 1948 Genocide Convention
  • International Law And Armenian Genocide
  • Armenian Genocide In The Light Of Genocide Convention 2003
  • Armenian Genocide In The Light Of Genocide Convention 2008


Download Prof Alfred De Zayas's Above 4 Lectures & Speeches(2003-2008)
Earlier Papers (Not The Current Papers) From The Current Conference Presenters
  1. Genocide Crime Of Crimes Presentation UN Audiovisual Library Of International Law Prof William A Schabas.pdf
  2. Professional Ethics and the Denial ofArmenian Genocide Roger Smith.pdf
  3. Geographies of Nationalism and Violence_ Rethinking Young Turk ‘Social Engineering’ Ungor Ugur Umit.pdf
  4. Use Of Law In Genocide Armenian Experience Martin J Adamian.pdf

We'll publish the current papers here when they become available

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