Genocide Forum Concludes Adopts Declaration

The Stockholm International Forum: Preventing Genocide; Threats and Responsibilities ended on Wednesday–after three days of speeches–panels–and workshops that focused on prevention of genocide–mass killings–and ethnic cleansing. Plenary panel topics were–"Identifying the Threats,"The Responsibility to Prevent," and "Next Steps Toward Genocide Prevention."

The Keynote speech at the closing ceremony was delivered by the Secretary General of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana. The Forum also adopted a seven-point Declaration on the Prevention of Genocide that commits "to ensuring that perpetrators of genocidal acts are brought to justice," and supporting "survivors of genocide to rebuild their communities and to return to a normal life."

The body also approved UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s suggestion that the state party to the Genocide Convention set up a Committee on the Prevention of Genocide.

The Armenian Delegation–headed by Prime Minister Andranik Margarian–met on the sidelines of the Forum with Swedish Prime Minister Gran Persson–who accepted an invitation to participate in an April 2005 international forum dedicated to the 90th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Persson also spoke about Armenia’s economic and political situation–and asked about Armenia’s position on regional developmen’s.

Meeting with reporters after the meeting–Margarian stressed that governmen’s participating at the Forum must adopt and implement the approaches discussed–commenting that "Armenia does not wish for any nation to repeat what the Armenian people experienced at the turn of the 20th Century."

Persson told reporters that Turkey must understand that–on the road to becoming a member of the European Union–it must put its relations with its neighbors in order.

Prime Minister Margarian–met yesterday with Albanian President Alfred Moisiu–Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas–and international genocide expert and Nobel prize winner Eli Vizel–who pointed out that he has consistently advised Turkish officials and historians to rid the burden of its history.

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