The Armenian Bar Association’s 17 member Board of Governors has passed a resolution stating that an official policy of the organization is to help secure international recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh Republic) as an independent, sovereign state under international law.
To emphasize the Armenian Bar Association’s commitment to secure under international law the right of self-determination of the citizens of the Artsakh Republic, the Board passed a further resolution which for the first time in its twenty-six year history, amended its mission statement to read as follows:
“A fundamental organizational purpose of the Armenian Bar Association is a commitment to take any and all steps permitted under international law to secure the recognition of the independence of the Artsakh Republic and to protect the right to self-determination of the people of the Artsakh Republic as guaranteed under international law.”
The resolutions were initially proposed by Chairman Ex-officio Armen K. Hovanissian, Vice-Chair Saro K. Kerkonian, Co-Chairs of the Armenian Rights Watch Committee Garo B. Ghazarian and Karnig Kerkonian and past Chairman and long-standing Board of Governors member Edvin E. Minassian.
On the occasion of the passage of the historic resolution, Armenian Bar Association chairman, Harry H. Dikranian, of Montreal, Canada, stated that “Every day, with the utmost courage and determination, Armenian men and women are putting their lives on the line to defend their right, guaranteed under international law, to exercise their self-determination. Today, the members of the Armenian Bar Association vow to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their brothers and sisters in Artsakh and offer their legal expertise to assist them in their just quest to seek international recognition of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Artsakh Republic. We encourage all Armenian organizations world-wide to join in this effort.”
The Armenian Bar Association is the largest organization of Armenian attorneys, judges, law professors and other legal professionals in the diaspora. Founded by Raffi Hovannisian in 1989, for the past 26 years, through the work of its various committees, the Association has sought to promote the development of the rule of law in Armenia, defend the rights of Armenians anywhere through its Armenian Rights Watch Committee and provided free legal assistance to Armenian communities through the work of the Pro Bono Committee.