Genocide Recognition Highlighted at Interparliamentary Forum

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Parliament Speaker Khosrov Haroutiunian addressed the Tuesday session of the Interparliamentary Union forum being held in Moscow.

The speaker of the Armenian parliament reportedly addressed the Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Genocide Prevention and Punishment for Genocide Execution adopted 50 years ago. The international community–he said–has many times witnessed the appalling crime against humanity–violation of the basic human right–the right to life.

According to Haroutiunian–there will be a threat of genocide as long as there is even one state that has not acceded to the Convention and condemned genocide as a crime against the civilization.

The speaker of the Armenian parliament also adverted to problems of peaceful settlement of regional conflicts–pointed out the importance of cooperation within regional structures and ensuring security.

Paruir Hairikian represents the delegation of Armenia in the commission on legal issues and the human rights commission. In his speech–Hairikian dealt with the genocide problem–urging the parliamen’s of members of the European Union to adopt relevant documen’s condemning genocide as the most serious crime against humanity.

The 100th forum of the Interparliamentary Union opened in Moscow Monday. An Armenian delegation led by Parliament Speaker Khosrov Haroutiunian is part of the 600 delegates from 120 countries attending the forum.

At the forum Chairman of the Russian State Duma Gennady Seleznyov made an inaugural speech. United Nations Undersecretary Vladimir Petrovsky conveyed UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s message to the participants in the forum. Chairman of the International Union Council Migel Angelo Martinez made a report on the plans of the Union.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin–congratulating the participants in the forum–said that Russia will surmount all arising difficulties with credit–whereafter he officially pronounced the forum open.

The Public Relations Department of the National Assembly reported that in the afternoon the speaker of the Armenian Parliament–Khosrov Haroutiunian–met with the chairman of the Interparliamentary Union Council–Migel Angelo Martinez. Stressing his sympathy for the Armenian people–Martinez expressed optimism that in the near future Armenia will become a full member of the Council of Europe. He stressed the importance of the development of democratic processes in Armenia–which would qualify Armenia for membership in the Council of Europe and integration into European structures.

Outlining the political situation in Armenia–Haroutiunian expressed satisfaction with the participation of experts from the Council of Europe in the judicial and legal reforms which are being carried out in Armenia.

As for the Karabakh problem–Haroutiunian pointed out that Armenia’supports a political dialogue and direct negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

From the viewpoint of regional cooperation he stressed the need for developing and expanding interparliamentary relations between the countries of the region. In this matter as well as in the matter of Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe–Armenia relies on the support of the European structures–said Haroutiunian.

On the same day the speaker of the Armenian Parliament met with the chairman of the Council of Federation of the Russian State Duma–Yegor Stroyev–the speaker of the State Duma–Gennady Seleznyov–as well as the head of the Russian-Armenian parliamentary group of the State Duma–Nikolay Ryzhkov.

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