April 26, 2018 - 11:19 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - In the presence of prominent political authorities of Uruguay, legislators and leaders of different Armenian institutions, an academic event commemorating 103 years of the Armenian Genocide was held on Tuesday, April 24, in the antechamber of the House of Representatives of Uruguay. The event was attended by Minister of Tourism and Sports Liliam Kechichian and the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Forum in Uruguay, Belela Herrera, as well as Senators and Deputies from all parties, Agencia Pewnsa Armenia reports.
The president of the House of Representatives, Jorge Gandini, opened the ceremony, saying that the commemoration that has been held for 18 years is aimed at "insisting on the need for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide." "The Uruguayan Parliament is doing the right thing by ratifying, every year, its position on the Armenian Genocide," said Gandini. "We do not do it against anyone, we do it for our principles."
Next, Ariel Bergamino, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay, said that what happened with the Armenians in 1915 "was a decision and a systematic action to annihilate not only the individuals but the community to which they belong." "To forget the Armenian Genocide is to kill twice. And to elude the meaning of the word or contextualize it to the point of distorting it in historical relativism denigrates and embarrasses those who do it," added Bergamino.
Next, it was the turn of the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia, Ester Mkrtumyan, who remarked the place occupied by Uruguay among the friendly countries of the Armenian people. Regarding the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Uruguay in 1965, she noted that "when state policies become part of the pride of a people, it is demonstrated that the legislative and government acts are the sincere expression of a nation that, in the Uruguayan case, has made a cult to the fidelity to its principles."
The Director of the National Institution of Human Rights and Ombudsman, Dr. Juan Faroppa, stressed the need to continue working daily for humanity to overcome hatred and confrontation, and the condition of being human enough to accept the ethnic, political or sexual orientation differences that may exist.
Finally, on behalf of the Armenian National Committee of Uruguay, Eliana Panosian assured that 2018 "has a special significance for the Armenian people" because "it is a year of anniversaries and balances, of vindication and memory." In this regard, she referred to two key dates: the centennial celebration of the founding of the Republic of Armenia, in May 1918, and the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of the peaceful movement for self-determination of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, in February 1988.
On Tuesday, April 24, Armenians worldwide are commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Genocide which began in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.