NSW Lower House joins Upper House in recognising Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides

The New South Wales Parliament’s Legislative Assembly (Lower House) adopted a unanimous motion recognising the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides. This follows a similar motion passed by the NSW Parliament Legislative Council (Upper House) last week.

This motion, introduced by the Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, formally recognised the Assyrian and Greek genocides, while at the same time reaffirming the historical reality of the Armenian genocide.

Last week’s Legislative Council motion was introduced by the Hon. Rev Fred Nile. That motion was also passed unanimously.

The Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia), Vache Kahramanian remarked: “Today is a historic day for the great state of New South Wales. Once again it has stood as a shining beacon in ensuring that the historical reality of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides are never forgotten.”

“We thank the New South Wales Parliament, and in particularly the Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP – the Premier of New South Wales – for introducing the motion to the house and to all Members for standing on the side of truth on this important issue.”

The passing is the result of the combined advocacy efforts of the Armenian National Committee of Australia, the Assyrian Universal Alliance, and the Australian Hellenic Council.

NSW is Australia’s largest state, and the first state in Australia to have recognised the Armenian Genocide in 1997.

The full text of the motion can be read below:

I give notice that this House:

1. notes that on 17 April 1997 this House recognised and condemned the Genocide of the Armenians by the then Ottoman Government between 1915 and 1922 and designated 24 April of every year thereafter as a day of remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians who fell victim to the first genocide of the twentieth century,

2. recognises that Assyrians and Greeks were subjected to qualitatively similar genocides by the then Ottoman Government between 1915 and 1922,

3. reaffirms its condemnation of the genocide of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of intolerance,

4. recognises the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated,

5. acknowledges and pays tribute to the contribution of the ANZAC servicemen who aided the survivors of the genocide, and

6. acknowledges the significant humanitarian relief contribution made by the people of New South Wales to the victims and survivors of the genocide.