YEREVAN. – What would you say of a country, a fully-fledged subject of international law, a member of the UN, Council of Europe and various other structures, a signatory of the humanitarian conventions, whose script is not much different from that of the Islamic State?
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan on Saturday asked the abovementioned in his opening address at the second Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide, which has kicked off in capital city Yerevan.
“As recent crises in the Middle East have demonstrated, nowadays the issue of genocide prevention remains urgent and topical,” he stated and continued. “Lately, the world has been watching with repulsion how the terrorists of the Islamic State have been torturing, beheading and mutilating innocent people, including women, children, and elderly people. The world is shocked with the barbarities that are carried out by a gang of thugs, who can hardly be called to justice and can be fought against barely with missiles.
“Nevertheless, if the thugs that carry out atrocities are fought with missiles, a question comes up: what kind of responsibility should bear a State, a subject of international law, for condoning and carrying out similar crimes? What would you say of a country, a fully-fledged subject of international law, a member of the UN, Council of Europe and various other structures, a signatory of the humanitarian conventions, whose script is not much different from that of the Islamic State?
“Just a few weeks ago, during the large-scale offensive unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh, Azeri soldiers were not content with just shooting their arms: they mutilated elderly people, Armenian soldiers, decapitated them and cut off their ears and presented those actions in the social networks as a manifestation of national heroism. It was all evidently encouraged by the Azerbaijani authorities. Is not it bizarre that a country that pursues such barbaric policy and violates all the norms of civilized conduct, these days is going to host a conference under the rubric of ‘Alliance of Civilizations?’ Is this an approach to be tolerated? We must get to the point, when a display of such hatred shall not be tolerated, when any government shall refrain from such conduct mindful that it may be hold responsible for it.
“We as the international community must swiftly and resolutely eradicate all such instances of genocidal conduct wherever they should occur, as it was done some days ago by the leadership and public of Sweden with regard to the hate speech directed against Armenians by the Turkish nationalist Barbaros Leylani. This requires our concerted effort, perhaps even subordination of geopolitical interests, ability to voice strict and targeted condemnation. Unless we are able to nip such conduct in the bud, we will have to deal with the elimination of their various and unpredictable consequences; we will continue to face various crimes nourished by hatred – crimes, among which are the terrorist activities that gain new range and scale on our continent.”
The second Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide has brought together representatives from governments and parliaments, major international and human rights organizations, renowned experts of international law, members of the media, and numerous other interested persons.
The attendees include renowned actor, filmmaker and philanthropist George Clooney; The Washington Post editor and reviewer David Ignatius; and co-founder of 100 LIVES and the Aurora Prize and president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, businessmen and prominent philanthropists Vartan Gregorian.