Pashinyan Hightlights Armenian Genocide, Wilson’s ’14 Points’ in Address at Armistice Event

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses the Paris Peace Conference on Nov. 11, 2018
Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses the Paris Peace Conference on Nov. 11, 2018

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses the Paris Peace Conference on Nov. 11, 2018

PARIS—The circumstances that led to the Armenian Genocide, as well as President Woodrow Wilson’s famous “14 Points” that have served as a blueprint for among other things the establishment of the United Nations, as well as Wilson’s vision of an independent Armenia, were highlighted by Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Sunday in a speech he delivered at the Paris Peace Conference that took place following an event marking the centennial of the World War I Armistice.

Pashinyan lamented that although the crimes against Armenians were condemned and later those crimes will be called the first genocide of the 20th century, lessons from the Armenian Genocide were not taken by the international community, thus resulting in the Holocaust, the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides.

“It was during World War One that the Allied powers, for the first time ever, used the definition ‘crimes against humanity and civilization,’ thus condemning the Ottoman rulers for the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians. Later, this horrendous crime was to be termed the first genocide of the 20th century,” said Pashinyan.

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his wife, Anna Hakopyan are greeted by French President Emanuel Macron

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his wife, Anna Hakopyan are greeted by French President Emanuel Macron

“Nevertheless, only few decades later mankind went through the Holocaust, the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, the genocides of the Christians and Yezidis in the Middle East, the violence against the Rohingya people,” added Pashinyan.

Armenia’s acting prime minister also pointed to Wilson’s 14 Points to draw attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Artsakh people’s right to self-determination—a concept highlighted by the U.S. president as an inalienable right of all people.

“The decades-long struggle of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to determine their destiny has not received its proper legal solution. In the 21th century it is absolutely unacceptable that people’s mere desire to exercise its right to self-determination may turn into an existential menace,” said Pashinyan.

Pashinyan had joined leaders from around the world to commemorate the end of World War I when on November 11, 1918 an agreement was signed putting an end to all combat operations in the War. This document served as a precursor for the Versailles Treaty and the Paris Peace Conference, both of which took place in 1919, with representatives of the then newly-independent Republic of Armenia taking part.

Among the leaders at the commemoration and the conference were President Donald Trump, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Turkey.

The Conference was opened by introductory remarks made by Paris Peace Conference Executive Committee Vice President Trisha Shetty and French President Emmanuel Macron, followed by speeches delivered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

After the speech Pashinyan presented an illustrated book by historian Hayk Demoyan entitled “The Armenian Genocide: Front Page Coverage in the World Media”

After the speech Pashinyan presented an illustrated book by historian Hayk Demoyan entitled “The Armenian Genocide: Front Page Coverage in the World Media”

After the speech Pashinyan presented an illustrated book by historian Hayk Demoyan entitled “The Armenian Genocide: Front Page Coverage in the World Media” to be included in the Peace Library as Armenia’s contribution.

Pashinyan and his wife, Anna Hakopyan arrived in Paris on Sunday and were greeted by Macron and the French first lady, Brigitte. They then participated in the Armistice Centennial Ceremony joining other world leaders.

Below is the text of Pashinyan’s remarks provided by his press service.

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have gathered here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. This is an event of exceptional significance called to pay tribute to collective memory and to articulate our common message of peace.

Today, we, as the leaders of the nations, which participated in that war, should first of all speak about the lessons learnt from the tragedy of World War One.

When a state wages a war or is tempted to solve problems by military means, it believes in its own strength and victory. Yet, World War One became a global tragedy for all the peoples engaged and resulted in the destruction of its mastermind states.

There is a belief, that from the geopolitical and military perspective there are always winners and losers in wars. However, from the human perspective, no one ever wins. Wars bring only loss, misery and devastation.

And regardless of our common efforts and appeals to learn from the previous mistakes, these lessons are easily forgotten.

Even though one hundred years ago, the humanity realized the need to ban weapon of mass destruction, regrettably it has not prevented the creation of new generations of arms.

It was during World War One that the Allied powers, for the first time ever, used the definition “crimes against humanity and civilization,” thus condemning the Ottoman rulers for the extermination of 1,5 million Armenians. Later, this horrendous crime was to be termed the first genocide of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, only few decades later mankind went through the Holocaust, the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, the genocides of the Christians and Yezidis in the Middle East, the violence against the Rohingya people.

As part of the lessons, learnt from the war the right of the peoples to self-determination was set out in Wilson’s 14 points. Later on it was included in the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act, and became a basis for the independence of around half of the modern states.

As a result of World War One, the people of the world legally established the right to master their own destiny through the expression of free will. Here, in France I cannot but stress that just days ago, France has clearly reiterated its principled position on this issue: the people of New Caledonia were given the opportunity to conduct a referendum. Painfully, this right is being exercised selectively.

This is why, the decades-long struggle of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to determine their destiny has not received its proper legal solution. In the 21th century it is absolutely unacceptable that people’s mere desire to exercise its right to self-determination may turn into an existential menace.

As a result of World War One the world established the League of Nations, the prototype for the United Nations, with the ultimate goal of achieving peace.

Nonetheless, the manifestations of extremism in the contemporary world are on the rise. We established those institutions first and foremost to protect human rights. Yet, today we are witnessing daily abuse of the most fundamental human right – the right to life.

After the end of the First World War, many believed that it would be the last ever war fought. However, the Second World War was not long in coming. The humankind entered into a new phase of war and arms race. Unfortunately, up to now we have been unable to put an end to it. Moreover, we get further involved in it every day.

This is why I attach high importance to such meetings. They provide us an opportunity to reflect on our past, on our common history of the humankind. Indeed, we are unable to change that history, and we do not need to. But the history is well able to change us to make our future better.

To this end, we need to learn the most important lesson of World War One. No state can build its success at the cost of others’ misery, no one can gain freedom at the cost of others’ slavery. We put an end to the First World War hundred years ago. And this is a perfect occasion to think of entering a century without wars – a century of peace.

I do believe, that the leaders that have gathered here, in Paris, are well able to achieve it. And this will be the best ever tribute to the innocent victims of the previous century.

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7 Comments

  1. Ari said:

    I hope that the Armenian PM also mentioned the Wilsonian Armenia and the Turkish government’s agreement to America’s arbitration role in establishing the borders of the two countries. More importantly, in how the Bolsheviks and the Nationalists in Turkey openly violated the rights of the Armenian nation while the Western Powers chose to turn away from their commitment to provide security to Armenia because defense of humanity was not a profitable proposition.

    • GB said:

      Wilsonian Armenia is one of the main reasons, USA does recognize the Armenian genocide! The other shameful reason is Lenin who gave away Western Armenia to “Brotherly” newly crowned Turkic state during Moscow Treaty in 1921!

  2. Hovik Vartanian said:

    Armenians need to hold there head up and great there enemies like shit.

    And which ever nation respects ,protects Armenian and are willing to d ie for Armenians and our nation.Can be our friends.

    We Armenians will not be backstabed,enslaved, loss land , be fooled, be denied, be hurt,be betrayed, by no more cultures, no more.

    Power to the Armenian people.

    We will rise and dominate once again.

    And if anyone steps in our way they will die or be crushed

  3. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    We the Armenians should show the world who we are , staying behind the curtain not helping us , if any nation do harm verbally , in the news etc etc we should respond or maybe take action , look how isreal is doing to Palestians .. We can do better then that , we are sons and daughters of URATIANs , we are proud nation , enough is enough , they way demand , distoring the history we should respond with civilazed manner and take action . demand what is ours all time openly where ever happens , they just understand strong voice. GOD BLESS ARMENIA – ARTSAKH forever.

  4. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    Most important we should tell the world there is no such a state like azeribayjan . fake country created by russians , artsakh was ours , is ours , will be ours , also talk aand demand Western Armenian lands per Sevres Treaty , and also strongly mention about Nakhichevan , Hemsin Armenian , Javak Armenian , etc etc. Loudly time to tell the world how we are . Lets go Armenian Leaders , put every thing a side for now , unite , no party different , no class different , in order keep nation thousand of year in the future speak up nowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Raffi said:

      I agree, we should tell the world that Azerbaijan is a fake country and is the consequence of Turkey’s perpetrated Genocide.

  5. Raffi said:

    Offer bases to all 3 superpowers Russia, US, China, to whoever helps recover Armenia’s invaded lands.

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