December 4, 2018 - 10:19 AMT
Lawmakers call on Australia to recognise Armenian Genocide

The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) reports that seven Australian Members of Parliament have spoken in favour of a motion that honoured the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. The motion also honoured the author of the Convention, Dr. Raphael Lemkin, stating he "coined the word 'genocide', informed by his study of the systematic extermination of the Armenians during World War I and the Jews during World War II".

The motion was introduced in the Australian Parliament's Federation Chamber on 3rd December 2018 by Liberal MP Tim Wilson (the Member for Goldstein) – who is of Armenian ancestry, and it was seconded by Labor MP Chris Hayes (Member for Fowler). Government MPs to join Wilson in speaking for the motion included Julian Leeser (Member for Berowra), Jason Falinski (Member for Mackellar) and Michael Sukkar (Member for Deakin). Hayes was joined by fellow non-Government MPs, including Michael Danby (Member for Melbourne Ports) and Tony Zappia (Member for Makin).

All seven MPs spoke in favour of the motion honouring the 70th Anniversary of the UN Genocide Convention, with most speakers using this debate as an opportunity to call on Australia – as one of the first nations to ratify the Convention – to recognise the Armenian Genocide.

ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian said that the unanimous nature of the debate and strong emphasis on Armenian Genocide recognition by the majority of the speakers clearly indicated the will of Australia's House of Representatives for a second time, following the 25th June 2018 debate recognising Australia's first major international humanitarian relief effort to aid survivors of the Armenian Genocide.